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By Sam Banda Jnr:

ATTENDED MEETING—Bamusi (left) and other officials during the summit

Malawi’s acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Gloria Bamusi, has said continued interaction between public officials and Malawians in the diaspora can facilitate socio-economic development back home.

She said this when the Malawi Mission in South Africa organised a summit, held in Rivonia, for Malawians living in the Rainbow Nation.

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During the Amalawi Summit 2018 held under the theme ‘Malawi Mission in South Africa Moving Forward towards Diaspora Engagement’, Malawians deliberated on several issues. The summit, which Mukuru and Khatho Civils funded, also saw people make presentations on a number of issues.

“South Africa is a number one destination for Malawians for purposes of doing business, tourism and even work. The contribution of Malawians living in South Africa to Malawi’s economic development can, therefore, not be overemphasised,” Bamusi said.

Bamusi said the summit was important as it created the platform for interaction between officials from the Malawi Mission in South Africa and leaders of various associations.

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He said Malawians in diaspora are a readily available resource and could play a key role in shoring up the economy of Malawi.

“For this reason, the government has just finalised work on the development of the National Diaspora Engagement Policy that seeks to create a mutual relationship between the government and Malawians in diaspora.

“The policy, which will be launched soon, has been crafted in such a way that it will create a conducive environment for those in the diaspora to invest in Malawi,” she said.

She added that the policy would focus on harnessing and maximising the potential of Malawians abroad to contribute to the uplifting and transformation of the country while meeting their wants, needs and expectations in a lasting partnership.

Bamusi also said the summit also looked into the possibility of creating one major structure through which the embassy would communicate important information.

“We want to promote unity and have one umbrella body. We, as an embassy, want Malawians to register with the embassy when they come to South Africa,” she said.

Priscilla Mwasinga from Association of Malawians in South Africa said the summit provided the right platform for ironing out issues such as how to assist back home.

“It was all about knowing each other and how we can work together with the embassy,” Mwasinga said.

Some Malawians bemoaned the situation back home, citing persistent power outages that have been faulted for putting investors off.

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