Malawian President Joyce Banda on Wednesday left Lilongwe for Abuja, Nigeria, aboard a Nigeria Air-force jet to attend the Second Global Power Women Network Africa High Level Meeting in the Nigerian Capital.
The President, who is the Patron of the Global Power Women Network Africa, is expected to deliver a Keynote Address at the official opening ceremony on Thursday, June 27, 2013. She is expected to return to Malawi the same Thursday through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA).
Tusekele Mwanyongo of the State House Press Office told Nyasa Times in an interview from Lilongwe that the Head of State has travelled with an unprecedented leaner entourage and that the host Government is funding the trip.
“Yes, I can confirm that the President directed that the entourage should be unusually smaller to minimize costs, which were to be borne by the Malawi Government.
“ Officials from State House, including the Chief of Staff, Ministry of Information and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who were on the initial list of people travelling to Abuja were advised to stay,” said Mwanyongo.
He said almost all the expenses will be borne by the host country, which also sent one of its Airforce jets – Nigerian Air Force 5N-FGV – to ferry the Malawi Head of State to and from Nigeria.
President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, President of the Global Power Women Network Africa, and Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Thokozani Khupe, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Michel Sidibe and Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) are some of the high-level dignitaries expected at the event on Thursday.
The Summit will largely centre on matters that most affect African women especially regarding HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
The theme of the Summit is “Accelerating the implementation of the Global and Regional Agenda for Women and Girls, Gender Equality and HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Adoption of Key post 2015 Priorities”.