Malawi to benefit from hosting AU –Kaliati

Malawi government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati has dimissed calls by Vice President Joyce Banda asking President Bingu wa Muthatika to tell African Union (AU) that the country cannot host the summit scheduled for June due to economic turmoil.

Kaliati,who is Minister of Information and Civic Education, said the call by the Vice President was inappropriate, saying the country will benefit from hosting the summit other than being wasteful as feared.

She said Malawi needs foreign exchange and that delegates to the summit, including Heads of State, will inject the much needed forex into the country’s economy.

Kaliati: Malawi will host the AU summit

Kaliati said it’s all systems go for Malawi to host the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union in June.

“It is going to take place in Malawi and we are very ready for that,” she said on Daybreak Malawi programme aired on Capital FM on Thursday.

The government spokeswoman said apart from foreign exchange earnings, the business community will also benefit including the tourism industry.

“We are going to benefit as a country. We are really greatfull and blessed as a nation,” she said.

Kaliati said the AU will fund the costs of the summit.

When pressed if no penny from the Malawian tax payer will be used, she said: “It is a win-win situation.”

“When we are renovation, rehabilitating our infrastrure it means  we are losing but at the end of the day we are winning,” said the minister,

She said the country cannot cancel the summit because it has challenges.

“Those who are struggling with life in the villages are they not brearing children because they are poor?”

Kaliati said Malawi recently hosted Comesa summit and was voted to host AU meeting because “there is confidence across the borders on Malawi and its leadership.”

“They only vote we don’t ask for that. Its anonymous vote [sic],” she said.

Among issues to be tackled at the summit will be a vote to choose the chairman of the secretariat of the African Union.

A vote to fill up the post produced no clear winner between incumbent Jean Ping, of Gabon, and South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma last week in Ethiopia.

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