By Mphatso Nkuonera
Lilongwe, October 16, Mana: Members of the cabinet have expressed hope Malawi will open up more opportunities that will benefit the country developmentally through its participation in foreign conferences and trips that are meant to strengthen the country’s international relations.
Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe and Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo, in turns explained on Friday during a press briefing in Lilongwe the importance of foreign trips the country’s Head of State would soon undertake.
President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will make official visits to Kenya, Dubai and Scotland where he will represent the country on high level meetings, tackling on various development topics.
“The president’s official visit to United Arab Emirates will be very rigorous, eventful and will definitely leave a mark for Malawi.
“The meeting will accord His Excellency the President an opportunity to highlight Malawi’s success stories in Science and Technological innovation, thus implementation of the Malawi Second Science, Technology and Innovation Policy of 2002.
“It will also be a platform to seek more technical and financial support from the development partners to assist the country in her endeavours in this regard,” Kazako said.
The minister said while in Dubai, technological developments across the globe will be at centre stage which gives an opportunity for Malawi to explore more avenues of attaining Electronic-Government, Electronic-Health and Electronic-Agriculture among many.
Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, said it was wrong for the country to stand as an island while the world converges to discuss matters that affect the world.
“The visit to Kenya is vital for bolstering the two countries’ bilateral relations as well as trade activities as Kenya is a major destination for agricultural products from Malawi, mainly tea, pulses and groundnuts. She stands to get more benefits by being there physically,” Gwengwe said.
The trade minister cited Chakwera’s official visit to Mozambique which unlocked the Sena Corridor, Beira and Nacala railway, which for long, had failed to take shape.
“The president will also deliver a keynote address at the Malawi Investment Forum on 21st October, all this is a glittering chance to make the country an investment destination,” he explained.
Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo said Chakwera’s participation at the Conference of Parties (COP 26) is crucial as it demonstrates Malawi’s commitment to address climate change issues.
She said Malawi’s physical participation on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Glasgow, Scotland gives the country a chance to lobby for more support to counter the problem back home.
“The President’s official visit to the UK will also provide an opportunity for Malawi to lobby for increased support towards climate finance and discuss with other world leaders issues of mutual interest.
“We are for food security, low carbon production, economic growth and sustainable development among many areas that affect climate change.
“Some of the meetings require presidents only, and if our president is not there, we are disadvantaged,” she said.