South Africa rolled out the red carpet for Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera on Thursday as he started his two-day working visit in Pretoria, in the “rainbow nation” aimed at strengthening the already existing bilateral, political and economic relations between the two countries.
Chakwera was welcomed by South African Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza and leader of the Malawi delegation, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Eisenhower Mkaka among others.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is expected to hold bilateral meetings with President Chakwera in order to enhance bilateral relations that exist between the two countries with a focus on the strengthening economic cooperation.
Chakwera has since described South Africa as a very important partner to Malawi and his quest to connect with Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) leadership.
He made the remarks at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe before he departed for South Africa.
The President said apart from being Malawi’s biggest trading partner South Africa also has a historical connection to Malawi in terms of labour supply.
“I think you understand that South Africa is our biggest partner. Historically, we have also had many Malawians working in South Africa and some issues regarding labour are yet to be resolved. And then we have a lot of Malawians in South Africa presently and we also want to look at their welfare.
“So, issues to do with Malawi and South Africa relations are paramount and then you know also South Africa is the Chair of African Union (AU). So, my desire to connect with leadership in SADC Region, South Africa is a very important partner,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mkaka has described South Africa as a key partner to Malawi.
“Most Malawians work and seek opportunities in South Africa as Malawi continues to enjoy economic prosperity which is attributed to foreign investment including trade agreements,” he said.
Malawi and South Africa are known to share a long history of ties which date back to early 1960’s and they are both under Commonwealth.
President Chakwera, is having his engagements concentrated on areas of cooperation and strengthening of the cordial relations that already exist between the two countries.
While in South Africa, President Chakwera’s engagements will likely be concentrated on areas of cooperation and strengthening of the cordial relations that already exist between the two countries.
He is accompanied by First lady Madame Monica Chakwera, Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo and Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe.
The Malawi leader is expected to return home on Friday through Kamuzu International Airport.- Additional reporting by Manasse Nyirenda, Mana.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :