European Union hints at budgetary support provision

DISCUSSED DEVELOPMENT ISSUES— Chakwera (right) and Urpilainen

By Elita Soko in Doha, Qatar:

The European Union (EU) has hinted at the possibility of resuming budgetary support to Malawi but, this time, by aligning the assistance to specific sectors, notably education.

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said this Tuesday during talks with President Lazarus Chakwera on the sidelines of the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar.


During the meeting, Chakwera also made a plea for substantial support towards Malawi’s cholera epidemic, which has claimed at least 1,500 lives and affected 50,000 since the first case under the current wave was registered in March 2022.

Chakwera highlighted that Malawi needs both technical and financial assistance to rid itself of cholera.

He also sought technical support and enhanced collaboration with the EU, saying this was key to the realisation of goals set for projects such as the Mega Farms initiative, which will depend on mechanisation to register positive results.


On its part, the EU pledged continued support to Malawi.

Chakwera, along with some members of his Cabinet, is holding a series of meetings with partners in various areas, including infrastructural development, Information and Communications Technology, health and education.

On Monday, he engaged with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Thomas Ostros.

Ostros said the meeting was a follow-up to another one held in September last year, when the leaders focused on the issue of rehabilitation of the M1 Road, a project that seeks to improve the country’s interconnection with its neighbours, enhancing trade and creating jobs.

“We also discussed other projects. Last summer, we launched a cooperation [initiative] with banks in Malawi to support small companies, female-led companies in the agricultural sector [and] how we can support a thriving private sector,” he said.

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe said contractors tasked with rehabilitating the M1 Road are now mobilising equipment and other resources to begin the works, which EIB is financing.

Gwengwe said, apart from the M1 Road, the bank has assisted Malawi with projects such as the raising of Malingunde dam in Lilongwe to help ease water supply challenges in the city.

“There are a few other pipeline projects, including the upgrading of Chileka Airport— they are co-financing the project with one or two other funders—and, apart from that, they are looking at, in the medium term, the eastern back-bone transmission line for Escom [Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi],” the minister said.

Chakwera also had meetings with the President of Slovenia Natasa Pirc Musar, Director General of Smart Africa Initiative Lacine Kone, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union Doreen Bogdan- Martin and United Nations Population Fund Executive Director Natalia Kanem.

The Malawi Government went to the Least Developed Countries conference seeking to build more partnerships to fast track the country’s graduation into a middle-income economy by 2030.

The theme for the conference is ‘From Potential to Prosperity’.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker