President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has told fellow African leaders at the on-going Forum for China-Africa Forum (Focac) that what the continent needs most is to industrialise if it is to move out of poverty faster.
He was speaking during his contribution at the 2018 roundtable discussion between African leaders and China in Beijing on Tuesday.
‘‘Yes we need trade, fair and equitable trade as a matter of fact. But, what are we going to be trading on if we don’t have capacity to produce?’’, asked Mutharika.
President Mutharika further said China and developing countries are facing a dangerous storm adding that if they are to survive they have to join hands.
‘‘Trade protectionism is of the issues threatening jobs in developing countries. If we are to survive this storm we need to join hands’’, he said.
Mutharika who is Youth Champion hailed China’s Belt and Road initiative saying it will open up Africa and create jobs for youths in Africa.
‘‘The majority of the population in Africa are youth, we should stop looking the at the youth as a problem. They are an opportunity. If we empower them with relevant skills they will positively contribute towards the drive towards prosperity,” said the Malawi leader.
President Mutharika that Malawi is committed to its relationship with China adding that Malawi will work hard to promote the relationship.
Mutharika reiterated that Malawi supports the One China policy.
All African leaders that spoke during the roundtable discussion hailed the relationship between China and their countries citing that China treats them as a mutual partner.
Chinese President Xi Ping chaired the morning session of the roundtable discussions while South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Chaired the afternoon session.
Meanwhile, Malawi is to build a new 300MW coal-fired power plant at Kammwamba in Neno.
President Mutharika during his visit in Beijing, met with the China Energy Engineering Group (CEEC) to discuss the details of the planned facility in Kammwamba, which is hoped wil provide improved energy access and boost the economy.
The CEEC has now finalised and secured approval for the two preparatory phases of the coal project, following the government meeting all 14 conditions set by the financiers AXIM Bank of China to access the loan for the project.
Mutharika said the shortage of electricity to industries is one of the major challenges facing companies and citizens, slowing growth.
He said: “We need the extra energy as soon as yesterday. That’s why we’re very serious about this project. If we have their extra wattage from this project, our economy will perform much better than now.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :