By Rebecca Chimjeka & Taonga Sabola:
President Peter Mutharika has called for dialogue among political parties and civil society organisations and has asked Human Rights Defenders Coalition to stop demonstrations because their call has been heard by Malawians.
Mutharika made the call Friday as he was leaving for the United Kingdom (UK) for Africa-UK Investment Summit in London Monday.
“I am ready to for dialogue and even after elections case, I am ready to sit down with all political parties and civil society to map the way forward for our country,” Mutharika said.
According to Mutharika, during the summit he will ensure investors in the UK come and start businesses in the country.
He said he will assure the investors that situation in Malawi is not volatile and that everything is going to be okay.
Mutharika further said the summit comes after Brexit which he said the UK would like to find a solution on how it can do trade with other countries including Africa.
The summit, which will be hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, seeks to create new lasting partnerships to deliver more investment, jobs and growth to benefit people and businesses across Africa and the UK.
The summit will bring together UK and African business representatives, African leaders and delegations from across Africa, international institutions and young entrepreneurs.
With this Summit, the UK will demonstrate that it is the investment partner of choice for African nations, offering world-leading expertise on tech and innovation and positioning the City of London as the number one global exchange for African businesses.
British High Commissioner to Malawi Holly Tett said, as the UK gets Brexit done, they want a closer trading partnership with Malawi and are helping UK businesses to seize new and exciting opportunities for investment.
“For instance, with support from UKaid and CDC group, among others, we are supporting businesses in various sectors like agriculture to compete at an international level and contribute to local economy through taxes and job creation in a sustainable way.
“By 2038, Malawi’s population will have doubled to 36 million people. The summit will bring together British and African businesses to harness the potential of fast-growing countries like Malawi, and make the most of trade and investment opportunities,” Tett said.
British International Development Secretary Alok Sharma, who earlier visited some countries on the African continent ahead of the summit, said Africa has eight of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world but currently receives less than four percent of foreign direct investment.
“There are fantastic opportunities for UK businesses to work alongside, invest in and partner with African nations.
“At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20, we will bring together UK and African businesses, African leaders, international institutions and young entrepreneurs to drive the investment Africa needs to flourish. I look forward to seeing many of you there,” Sharma said.
The UK-Africa Investment Summit will offer businesses and entrepreneurs’ access to several events with a focus on themes such as clean energy, sustainable infrastructure and agribusiness.
During the summit, Mutharika is expected to have a one-on-one meeting with Graham Stuart, UK Secretary of State for Trade and Investment, according to State House Press Secretary Mgeme Kalirani.
University of Malawi’s Chancellor College economics Professor Ben Kaluwa said Malawi could benefit from the summit in as far as trade is concerned.
“Of late, Malawi has been doing more trade with European Union countries, and with Brexit, United Kingdom would like to see doing business with African countries including Malawi, this can help trade between the two countries, hence also help the economic growth of the country, ” Kalua said.
In November last year, Mutharika also attended the United Nations climate conference in Madrid, Spain.