Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) has expressed interest to work with the Government of Malawi especially with President Joyce Banda as she makes plans of how to take Malawi to the next level.
Graca Machel, wife to former South African president Nelson Mandela, who is a co-founder of the institute, made the assurances in South Africa after meeting Malawi President Mrs Joyce Banda.
Machel, who described her relationship with President Banda as that of a sister, said they started working together as far back as 1992 in development endeavours for women in this region.
She said MINDS believe that it is time for African leaders to rely more and more on African institutions, African wisdom and African cooperation to strengthen self confidence of Africans.
Banda is currently in South Africa meeting several people as she seeks assistance for the Malawi Government in several areas.
“It is time that sons and daughters of this continent say we have the ability, we have the capacity and we know better than anyone else what our needs are and we want to shape our own destiny,” Machel asserted.
Machel also said that President Banda is concerned that Malawi must have enough food and need for new initiatives in agriculture. She said they talked about mechanization and other initiatives to increase productivity and make agriculture as a business and not just an activity.
Meanwhile Ministers from the two countries have also been meeting to discuss bilateral issues affecting the two nations.
Ken Lipenga, Minister of Finance led the Malawi team and speaking later to the press said that the two countries have been discussing mainly how to strengthen their relationship especially in the areas of trade and new investments.
He also said Malawi took advantage of the opportunity to thank the South African Government for the assistance it always renders to Malawi especially the 35 US million grants extended to Malawi during the funeral of the late President, Bingu wa Mutharika.
His counterpart, South African Deputy Minister of International relations and cooperation, Ebrahim Ismael Ebrahim said the relationship between Malawi and South Africa is based on respect, credibility and integrity of the two nations that we understand we are for each other.
He hailed President Banda for taking Malawi to new recognition in the international arena.
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