The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi and Head of Delegation, Marchel Gerrmann on Monday presented his letters of credentials to President Peter Mutharika, at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in an event that marked his official assumption of duty.
Ambassador Gerrmann was appointed as Head of the EU Delegation to Malawi on 1 September 2014 and he replaces Alexander Baum who has since taken up a similar position in Botswana.
“Today the President and I discussed the bilateral relationship across the board: we discussed the domestic political agenda, the economy and trade and investment agenda, development cooperation and governance,” said the EU diplomat.
“After almost 40 years, we agreed that the relationship between Malawi and the EU is longstanding, genuine and strong. I expressed the wish for an excellent working relationship.
“The EU is Malawi’s largest trading partner; nearly a quarter of Malawi’s exports finds its way to Europe. The EU, including the member States, is by far the largest donor. In 2013 the EU contribution to Malawi was €80 million. For 2014-2020, the overall envelope available for Malawi is projected to be close to €800 million.”
”In terms of future dialogue and cooperation, we discussed public finance management (PFM) reform, technical education and vocational training, the Economic Partnership Agreement and the follow up to the recommendations of the European Election Observation Mission”.
Prior to his posting to Malawi, Ambassador Gerrmann headed the EU Delegation to Eritrea.
Originally from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has an extensive background in African issues and development cooperation, having spent four years as Deputy Ambassador at the Netherlands Embassy in Zimbabwe and three years as a Second Secretary in Kenya.
Ambassador Gerrmann is accompanied by his wife Christine van Duyne and their youngest son, Willem. He also has two grown up children, Vincent and Philip.