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Lazarus Chakwera leaves for US, government justifies trip

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Gospel Kazako

By Wezzie Gausi

President Lazarus Chakwera Monday left Malawi on an official visit to the United States (US).

He will participate in the United Nations (UN) conference of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at the UN headquarters in New York.

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Chakwera said participants would be looking at issues such as the programme of action that should be adopted by LDCs.

“The idea is to follow particular programmes so that nations can graduate from this group to the next. We trust that Malawi can do that,” he said.

The President is expected to be in the US up to March 19 2022.

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Earlier yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Nancy Tembo justified the President’s trip.

She said, after Malawi assumed the chairpersonship of the Coordinating Bureau of the LDCs Group on September 26 2018, it was duty-bound to be present in every meeting of the group.

She said, among other things, Malawi was mandated to chair all LDCs’ ministerial meetings and chairing activities of LDCs during meetings at various levels.

“Malawi chairpersonship was meant to run for a three-year term which ran up to 2021. However, due to the Covid pandemic, no physical meetings have been held and Malawi’s tenure has continued beyond 2021.

“That being the case, it is expected that the chairpersonship will be handed over during the forthcoming LDC V full Conference in Doha, Qatar, in 2023. While waiting for that time, the country has to continue chairing all the meetings,” Tembo said.

Information Minister Gospel Kazako said the nation had benefitted immensely from chairing the group.

He said Malawi was privileged to have established high-level networks which were being utilised for promoting the sustainable development agenda.

“Through Malawi’s hosting of the African Regional Review Meeting of the LDC in February 2021, contact was developed with the Rockfeller Foundation of the US for the latter to support the ‘Green Economy’ through climate sensitive investments and a focus on renewable energy projects,” Kazako said.

All LDC activities are guided by a programme of action.

The programme outlines the development priorities of LDCs and proposes measures on how to attain the priorities for a given period.

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