Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera in one of his final engagements while in the United Kingdom held an an audience with Malawi Congress Party diaspora at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel in London.
Speaking to Nyasa Times, Nic Thindwa who is the Communications Director of Malawi Congress Party Diaspora Network (MCPDN), an umbrella arm of all the regional diaspora groups said: “the President responded to the request from the party members to have time to engage and discuss party matters. While an open meeting for everyone could not be arranged, the President offered to meet some of the leaders of the group.”
Leader of delegation , who is also MCP Global Chairperson Chalo Mvula welcomed the President before diving into key issues that were core to the meeting agenda.
In his speech, Mvula said that there has never been better time for the diaspora to play a crucial role in the development of Malawi than this, when the world is rocked with a pandemic and the world has become one global village due to globalisation of people and services.
Mvula said Government should eliminate the resistance to diaspora efforts to contribute to and more meaningfully participate in national issues.
“The obstacles diaspora face include perceptions that we only want to be involved because we are desperate for positions, that we are condescending in our approach and undermine the efforts of comrades on the ground, that we are too far away from the action to make any meaningful impact on the ground,” Mvula said.
He argued that the majority of diaspora participation are for the sake of building Malawi, based on patriotism – since most of these members are already well-settled in the diaspora
Mvula further said the diaspora is prepared to be central to government trade and investment options by being middlemen in the attraction of foreign direct investors and tourism ambassadors in the communities where they live and network.
The MCP Diaspora leaders committed to partnering with government in order to champion awareness campaigns for the diaspora on the business opportunities available in Malawi and their associated processes.
“In partnering with government and agencies like Ministry of Trade and Industry, Diplomatic Missions, and through regional networks, we will secure for the diaspora community incentives and tailored business opportunities.
“In partnering with government through various envoys in the diaspora, we will help secure trade links, investments, franchises, public-private partnerships, human, material and financial resources for business in Malawi,” added Mvula.
President Chakwera said involving the diaspora has always been his plans because he has an understanding of the great and vibrant skillsets at hand.
Chakwera commended MCPDN for coming up with an idea of skill transfer and exchange programmes saying he will make sure his government capitalise on that by arranging for the skilled diasporas to be coming to Malawi and equip locals with knowledge on short term basis.
Malawians in Ireland asked the Malawi leader to consider opening an embassy there, a request the president welcomed as an interesting idea and will consult the Foreign Office to do some feasibility studies on Ireland.
The other members of the MCP Diaspora leaders that attended the meeting were: Thoko Patterson, Pastor Nelson Ngulube, Mphatso Mainala, Allan Mandindi, Felix Banda and Patricia Chinoko.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :