Malawi High Commissioner to London, Bernard Sande on Saturday used his speech to mark golden jubilee independence celebrations, to lure UK government, diplomats and investors that the southern African nation is in quest of trade and investment opportunities .
Sande was speaking at Hyatt Regency in London at cocktail party to celebrate Malawi Independence Day which was graced by Her Majesty’s government officials, DfID country director –designate of Malawi Jen Marshal, Scottish government officials, investors, Malawians living in UK and diplomatic corps.
Also attending the celebration was Colleen Cameron who was in Malawi’s first cabinet of Kamuzu Banda but was sacked and deported within 48 hours after he had disagreed with the hero of Malawi independence turned dictator.
In his speech, Sande said during the journey as an independent country, Malawi, just like any other country, has travelled on a road of “mixed fortunes.”
He noted that Malawi’s greatest strides have been in the political and social fields and to some extent the economic sphere.
Touting Malawi as an investment destination, Sande said “Malawi is referred to as the ‘Warm heart of Africa’ a country with a tradition of unity, peace and tranquillity and a high global rating for safety and security.”
The diplomat said as Malawi consolidates its 20 years of democracy, the country has demonstrated “enormous capacity to uphold the rule of law, overcome serious political challenges, go through smooth transitions and move on.”
On tourism, Sande told patrons that Lovely Planet rates Malawi as the 5th best country to visit in 2014.
“Indeed apart from wildlife for which African tourism is famous for, Malawi boats of freshwater lake holiday resorts, diverse cultural heritage and breath-taking landscape,” he said, persuading the guests to go to Malawi and experience the country’s “magical warmth and beauty.”
He pointed out that Malawi has generally achieved successes in food security on a national scale, against all odds and is applauded as a model in the fight against HIV and Aids.
Sande said in the economic field Malawi has “sometimes achieved phenomenal economic growth”.
However, he conceded that Malawi faces “serious economic challenges.”
Nonetheless, Sande said the new administration of President Peter Mutharika “has hit the ground running with an approach of business unusual.”
Said Sande: “It has started with a lean cabinet of 20 members only. It has set out to reform the public service into a truly professional institution which it once was; and it is determined to root out theft and corruption.”
The envoy persuaded foreign investors to take advantage of multiple investment opportunities in the country while the Mutharika government is carrying out business reforms.
“Malawi is open for business,” declared Sande.
He thanked Britain saying it had remained a “true friend” of Malawi since independence as largest bilateral development partner, providing financial and technical assistance virtually in all sectors.
The High Commissioner stressed that ties between Malawi and the UK are “strong and vibrant.”
Sande said on behalf of President Mutharika and the people of Malawi, he expressed “profound gratitude” to Her Majesty’s government and the people of UK “for all the support that they have rendered to Malawi over the years.”
He said Malawi looks forward to consolidating her relations with the UK.
In her brief address, DfID country director designate of Malawi, assured of continued support from London.
She read Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement on the 50th anniversary of Malawi’s independence.
“The UK has stood with Malawi since independence and I look forward to working with the government and people of Malawi in the years ahead,” said Cameron.
Meanwhile, a carnival for Malawians living in UK was held at Kwacha House in London on Saturday night.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :