President Joyce Banda on Tuesday left Ethiopia after attending the 21 session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is now heading to Tokyo, Japan where she is expected to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD.)
The African Summit coincided with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Organization of African Unity /African Union (OAU/AU).
President Banda addressed the assembly and called on the African leaders to protect the girl child and reduce maternal mortality.
According to Presidential Press Officer, Brian Banda, while in Addis Ababa, on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) summit, President Banda also held bilateral talks with President Unhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
The President had meetings with Michel Sidebe Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr Mark Dybul Executive Director of The Global Fund among others.
While in Addis Ababa President Banda launched the Global UNAIDS/LANCET Commission on HIV and Aids. President Banda also attended the AIDS Watch Africa Heads of State /African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) working launch. The Malawi leader was elected Champion for HIV, TB and Malaria for the SADC region during this meeting.
The President was also accompanied to the Summit by the Foreign Affairs Minister Ephraim Mganda Chiume, Deputy Minister of Economic Planning Khwauli Msika, Malawi’s ambassador to the African Union and Republic of Ethiopia Isaac Munlo. Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary George Mkondiwa and other senior govern officials and advisors.
Meanwhile, Banda is going to attend TICAD conference in Japan.
There have been four TICAD conferences (in 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008), through which Japan has tried to promote its ideas of global partnership and African ownership.
Japan and its African partners believe that the priorities for economic and social development should be determined by African countries themselves, and that development should be pursued under a common framework for cooperation among all development actors.
During the last TICAD Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda committed his government to extending US$ 4 billion and financial assistance totalling US$ 2.5 billion over the next five years.
Japan also committed to establishing a fund at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation aimed at doubling investment in Africa. The financial assistance will be provided through the fund over the next five years to help develop road networks and other traffic infrastructure.