Malawi’s Joyce Banda leaves for AU summit, proceeds to South Korea

State House says President Joyce Banda leaves  Malawi for Ethiopia on Friday  to attend the 20th African Union (AU)summit, her first since she rose to power last April and will proceed t0 South Korea.

Both trips are funded by AU and South Korea.

President Banda pulled out of hosting the bloc’s last summit over Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir’s intention to attend. She subsequently did not attend the meeting after it was moved to Addis Ababa.

This year’s heads of state summit is on January 27-28 in the Ethiopian capital, which is the seat of the AU.

State House Press Officer Tusekele Mwanyongo said the African leaders are expected to tackle a host of issues facing the continent.

President Banda: Off to Addis Ababa, South Korea
President Banda: Off to Addis Ababa, South Korea

These include how Africa can harness its resources to combat AIDS/HIV epidemic; malaria; political issues such as undemocratic regimes; economic issues such as improving the standard of living of millions of its people; mediating in the many civil wars.

Commenting on the Summit, President Banda said: “Most of these are issues that are also at the heart of my agenda, within the framework of the economic reforms my government and I are implementing.

“In addition, Malawi’s problems are Africa’s problems and vice versa. The summit therefore provides leaders the opportunity to share experiences, lessons and best practices in tackling their common challenges.”

Mwanyongo also confirmed that  from Ethiopia, Her President  Banda will go to South Korea where she will address the Global Development Summit.

The Global Summit will, among other things, discuss ways of how to end the global cycle of poverty.

In addition, President Banda will hold a bilateral meeting with the President of South Korea and hold talks with South Korean potential investors.

The Global Development Summit–Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities–will serve as the first time the international development community, together with a cross-sector representation, will address these issues openly and work to identify solutions to implement.

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