President Lazarus Chakwera has said much as the country eyes financial independence, it still needs bilateral partners to meet its goals.
The President said, as such, his official visit to Kenya, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK), respectively, would cement the most needed ties.
Before departure at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe Tuesday, Chakwera said there was a need for strong partnerships as one way of developing the country.
“We want to strengthen such relationships, acknowledging that even though Malawi needs to be independent, at the moment there is still a need to work with other countries,” he said.
The President is expected to be in Kenya for three days (from Tuesday to October 21) where he will, among other things, hold bilateral talks with his counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Chakwera said the relationship between Malawi and Kenya could be traced to the pre-independence era.
The two leaders agreed in August, when they met in the UK, to “urgently” revive the Malawi- Kenya Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation, taking advantage of opportunities that are in the two countries.
Kenya is one of Malawi’s strong allies in East Africa that can assist the country penetrate the region’s market. Apart from that, Chakwera will be the Special Guest at 2021 Mashujaa (Heroes) Day Celebrations to be held at Wang’guru Stadium in Kirinyanga County today, October 20.
The President will also deliver a keynote address at Malawi Investment Forum on October 21 2021 and, on the same day, hold a meeting with representatives of the Malawi diaspora in Kenya.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, the Malawi leader is also expected to witness the signing of bilateral agreements between the two nations.
From October 24 to 27, Chakwera will be in Dubai, UAE, attending the fifth Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Community meeting. Delegates will discuss technology solutions that are key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Thereafter, he will participate in the High-Level Segment of the 26th Session Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Conversation on Climate Change in Scotland.
Last week, government spokesperson Gospel Kazako downplayed concerns by some quarters that the trips were costing the country millions.
Instead, he said, the trips would give the President a chance to meet with people who have a say in decisions that affect Malawi.
“He cannot be in Malawi while every other queen, every other president and every other prime minister is in Scotland, for example… ;that will not be good for us,” he said at a press briefing in Lilongwe.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.