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Lazarus Chakwera back from US

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President Lazarus Chakwera arrived back home Monday afternoon.

He arrived from the United States (US) capital of Washington DC, where he attended the US-Africa Leaders Summit.

He was welcomed by Vice President Saulos Chilima and other top government officials at Kamuzu International Airport.

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Chakwera could, however, not grant a media interview due to a heavy downpour.

Among other tasks while in the US, Chakwera addressed people at a Leaders’ Session on Promoting Food Security and Food Systems Resilience, where he asked US investors to invest in Malawi.

He cited agriculture, tourism and mining as some of the areas where investment opportunities are rife.

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Also in the US, Chakwera met Seed Global Health founder Vanessa Bradford Kerry and discussed Malawi’s health sector priorities.

She pledged to mobilise resources for the cause.

Chakwera also had an audience with Green Climate Fund (GCF) Executive Director Yannick Glemarec to get an update on the status of Malawi’s application for resources for climate mitigation and adaptation projects in the south of Malawi, as well as the progress the GCF is making on supporting Malawi’s efforts to accredit and capacitate more Malawian entities to access climate change funds.

Chakwera also met Big Win Philanthropy founding chair and president Jamie Cooper, with whom he discussed ways in which Malawi can benefit from Big Win’s funding for programmes targeting youths.

Addressing delegates to the summit, US President Joe Biden said, over the next three years, the US plans to, working in close cooperation with the US Congress, commit $55 billion to Africa to advance priorities it shares and support the Agenda 2063.

Biden said the number represents a comprehensive commitment from the US to African people, Africa’s infrastructure, Africa’s agriculture, Africa’s health system, Africa’s security, and more.

“In our view, our new shared vision statement lays out a forward-looking foundation for the 21st century partnership between Africa and the United States.

“We want to work with you on these issues that matter most to our people’s lives. And we’re looking to increase our collaboration in every area, from rural communities to urban centres, to cyber space to outer space,” Biden said.

He said, in addition to its investments, the US is committed to helping African countries assess the financing they need to build sustainable and inclusive economies.

“We’re leading a global effort to pursue equitable arrangements for global creditors to provide debt relief so nations can prioritise their people, not back-breaking debt payments.

“And I’m asking the Congress for the authority to lend $21 billion to the International Monetary Fund to provide access to necessary financing for low and middle-income countries — which is so difficult to come by now — to help Africa’s recovery efforts and support projects that build resilience against future crises,” Biden said.

Chakwera also addressed the High Level Dialogue on Health Security, where he called on healthcare investors to follow the example of Pfizer in partnering Malawi in the improvement of health systems and increasing access to critical medicines and vaccines.

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