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India for strong ties with Malawi

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By Macdonald Thom:

BHUSHAN—On our part, we are ready

The government of India has pledged to continue supporting Malawi through capacity-building and development partnership projects.

In an interview in Lilongwe on Tuesday, India’s High Commissioner to Malawi, Anurag Bhushan, said India had what it takes to help Malawi develop.

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“India has the right technologies, skilled professional manpower and huge public and private sector in areas ranging from power, mining, agriculture, irrigation, health, education, ICT [Information and Communication Technology], among others. I am looking forward to enhance the engagement between the Government of India and the Indian private sector for development of Malawi,” he said.

Bhushan, who hailed the cordial relations India has with Malawi, said his government would fulfil pledges it made.

He said his country was working on implementing the establishment of India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development, a pan- African premier institution at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).

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The High Commissioner also said India was committed to the construction of a $10 million grant project of the Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre in Blantyre.

Last year, Malawi government and Blantyre City Council officials sparked controversy over plans to erect a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as part of the project.

However, Bhushan said modifications had been made.

“We are waiting for input from the Malawi Government. On our part, we are ready,” he said.

When India’s Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu, visited Malawi last year, a Line of Credit (LoC) of $215.68 million was announced. Also announced were grants for a cancer treatment machine, $2 million for medicines, 10 ambulances and 100,000 books for Malawi schools.

Bhushan said the initiatives were being processed.

“Many development projects have been completed in Malawi under Government of India assistance including the Salima Sugar Factory, the Fuel Storage Tank Project, Cotton Ginneries…. The existing LoC of $23.5 million Blantyre Water Project will be completed soon,” he said.

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