New Irish Ambassador to Malawi, Gerald Cunningham on Monday presented his letters of credence to President Peter Mutharika at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during which he promised to widen cooperation between the two countries.
Cunningham said there were other opportunities that the two countries had not ventured into that would strengthen the bilateral relationship, giving an example of humanitarian responses. He added that communities needed to build resilience to annual natural disasters through livelihood programmes.
Within the livelihood program enhancement, he revealed that Irish Aid would be expanding the social cash transfer schemes to two more districts in the country, adding that plans were there to extend the social cash transfer to all the districts in the country.
He said another area that Ireland and Malawi could benefit each other is the area of agriculture and nutrition. He said Ireland is working in the area of agricultural research, citing that Ireland had serious famine in the past and through the event Ireland encourages crop diversification by planting crops like pigeon peas, sorghum, millet to increase its use in food production, and tuber crops such as sweet potatoes and Cassava.
The final area that he said Irish government would explore more into is the area of human rights and accountability.
“We will work closely with the ministry of local government to uphold rights of citizens in the country through the same spirit; we are proud to announce that the national registration programme was one of Ireland’s initiative to Malawi and we are proud to see the programme rolled out,” he said.
Cunningham is taking the place of former ambassador Aine Hearns, who left the country in August after her term ended.
Ireland has over the few years been one of the fundamental partners to the Malawian government in its effort to build the country’s resilience to chronic weather that causes natural disasters.
In 2017, the two counties signed a K53.8 billion memorandum of understanding, mainly to be channeled towards the agricultural sector by 2020.