President Lazarus Chakwera has said Malawi should not waste time but leverage the power of global partnership with those that share the country’s vision and respect its values.
The President said this in Lilongwe Wednesday during the launch of The Asian Aspiration book, which four authors— including Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Ethiopia’s former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn— have contributed to.
The book explains how Africa can emulate Asia’s from poverty to prosperity story.
“What we must leverage is the power of global partnership with those of you who share our values, respect our vision, think outside the box and understand the urgency of our situation.
“What we must leverage is the power of good development examples and the book does that in ways that are practical and measurable,” he said.
The Malawi leader also said his administration wanted to end the culture of engaging development partners in isolation because the policy of working in the “developmental silos” has failed the country for decades and fosters an air of suspicion and leaves the country vulnerable to exploitation.
Chakwera called for a new approach to development and economic transformation based on mutual respect and multilateral partners working together.
He argued that the African continent had clarity about whose prescriptions have helped and whose prescriptions have failed over the past 50 years.
“We, as Africans, have clarity about what foreign powers are here to fight their turf on African soil in a new scramble for Africa that pits West against the East and what foreign powers are here as true partners in development,” Chakwera said.
Obasanjo said Africa could achieve what Asia had achieved, just that African nations needed to set their priorities right.
He also called for strong leadership supported by strong institutions that will focus on priorities that should be pursued continuously.
“There is nothing Asians have done that we [Africans] cannot do,” Obasanjo said.
Apart from Obasanjo and Desalegn, the book’s other writers are Greg Mills and Emily Van Der Merwe.
The lunch was also attended by State Vice President Saulos Chilima and Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda.
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.