Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. George Chaponda says the US – Africa Leaders’ Summit which the Malawi leader will attend in Washington DC is a very significant forum because the issues for discussion are relevant to Malawians.
President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika is leading a Malawi delegation to Washington DC and speaking to reporters ahead of the President’s arrival in the USA, Dr. George Chaponda said the theme of the summit which focuses on investing in the next generation is very important to Malawi
Chaponda who is one of three ministers attending the Summit said issues likes food security, climate change, natural resources, peace and national stability, trade and investment, the civil society, and the issues of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) among others, are crucial and important to Malawians.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Joseph Mwanamvekha and the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines will also attend because most of the issues to be discussed will revolve around their respective ministries.
“We are looking forward to discussing a number of issues. AGOA is very important but Malawi did not benefit much from AGOA because we had not put our acts together,” Chaponda said promising that Government will be putting measures to ensure Malawi benefits from programs like the AGOA.
The Minister of Trade, Mwanamvekha said Malawi did not benefit much from AGOA because of lack of capacity and other logistical problems.
Mwanamvekha said: “As a country we did not have the capacity and we also had challenges to find buyers for our products.”
He said the summit will therefore give an opportunity for government officials to interact with various counterparts and learn how best Malawians can benefit from the facility.
The AGOA was enacted by the USA to give African countries in the Sub Sahara region a chance to sell to America various products duty free, but due to various challenges various countries including Malawi did not benefit much.