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Lazarus Chakwera addresses UN General Assembly today

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Gift Trapence

President Lazarus Chakwera will address the United Nations General Assembly (Unga) today.

According to the State House, Chakwera is expected to address the general assembly at 3pm New York time – which is about 9pm Malawi time.

Commentators have since urged Chakwera to use the opportunity to seek solutions to the economic and social challenges rocking the nation.

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Centre for Social Concern Project Officer Bernard Mphepo said the welfare monitoring body expects Chakwera to plead for debt relief from developed countries.

He said they also expect Chakwera to woo more investment in agriculture and manufacturing to create jobs.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson Gift Trapence said the coalition expects Chakwera to appeal for support and investments in trade and electricity generation.

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“It is also our expectation that he will appeal for more support on the looming hunger, where over three million Malawians are food insecure,” Trapence said.

Civil Society Education Coalition Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe said this is an opportunity for Chakwera to plead for support towards the education sector.

“Remember, we have secondary schools enough for 37 percent of all standard eight learners. Where do the rest go? And how many are selected to universities after sitting MSCE [Malawi School Certificate of Education] examinations? Boys and girls that fail to make it to secondary schools don’t have alternatives,” Kondowe said.

He said Malawi can also use the platform to explore alternative financing sources for the education sector as traditional sources are limited.

But Consumers Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito said the Unga is not the right place where the President can address issues affecting Malawians now.

Kapito described the Unga as a mere annual political gathering.

Unga is the main policy-making organ of the United Nations.

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