President Professor Peter Mutharika has described colonialism and aid to Africa as organized systems meant to cripple Africans.
The Malawi leader said he has since found five ways of rescuing Malawians from such system.
Mutharika was speaking Sunday at Washington University in St. Louis, United States of America, where he was conferred upon the Doctor of Humane Letters. He taught at the University for 40 years.
He said as he reflected on leading Malawi while at the University, he realized that African states were in poverty because they lacked capacity to act independently and determine their economic autonomy.
“I saw my country in the same situation. I thought this incapability was conditioned by two major factors. First was colonialism, which used education to destroy Africans’ belief in themselves. It created a collective inferiority complex, a negative self-concept by making Africans to believe that there was nothing good about them,” said Mutharika.
“As I speak, the biggest challenge in my country is the problem of mindset. We think too negatively,” he added.
Condemning aid to Africa, Mutharika said: “The second problem is that we have been caught up in a global economic system that is tilted against our favour. The system is organized to marginalize Africa from the global decision-making processes.
“The decision to pump aid into Africa as opposed to bringing investments and industries has never been in favour of Africa. In fact, it has only destroyed Africa.”
He said Malawi needs five things to move from the poverty bondage created by colonizers, thus moving from aid to trade by producing goods to bring industries.
He also said Malawi needs foreign direct investors who must inject in capital, create industries and jobs and not leaving out democratic atmosphere to create an environment for foreign direct investment.
“We need to create a skilled labour society in order to empower the youth to be productive agents of the industrialization process.
“We need infrastructure such as roads and energy to support the investment and industrialization process,” said Mutharika.
He said since assuming power in 2014, Malawi is moving from aid to trade using direct investment and that it is rising on the Global Index of Doing Business.
Mutharika said his administration is also focusing on ensuring that the foreign investors together with rural communities begin serious industrialization. He said his government is also establishing community technical colleges to empower the youth.
“I have seen community technical colleges support economic growth, including here in the US. In fact, here in the US, it is community colleges that have moved minority communities upwards,” said Mutharika adding that his government has also focused on building new infrastructure and taking electricity to rural communities and investing in power generation.
He thanked Washington University for conferring on him the Professorship saying: “Washington University and the community of St. Louis have inspired the passion that drives me to lead my country today.”
Mutharika also received the same degree from Addis Ababa University 10 years ago. He also received the Charles Nagel Professorship. A few weeks ago, he received another Professorship from the University of International Business and Economics in China.
Mutharika arrived in the US on September 22 to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.
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