‘We need a break’
Lazarus Chakwera talks Africa-led growth
President Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday spoke strongly on the need for Malawi and other African countries to be staunch in their pursuit for economic prosperity, saying the countries cannot develop if they do not grow their own means of success.
Chakwera, who addressed a meeting with his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu in Lusaka Tuesday on his one-day official visit, said African countries must continue pursuing industrialisation so that the lives of their people are changed for the better.
Referring to Dead Aid—a book by Zambian author Dambisa Moyo— the President said “we just can’t live by maintenance” and “we need a break where we can truly rise, so I am looking forward to working with you [Lungu] and the people of this nation”.
The book confronts what is considered as a myth that aid from wealthy countries to developing African nations helps reduce poverty and increase growth.
Chakwera also tackled the issue of security threats within the Southern Africa region, saying co-existence is important especially among countries such as Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique that share strong ties along several aspects including cultures and traditions.
“There are peace issues in [Democratic Republic of Congo] and close to us in Cabo Degaldo [Mozambique] and it is important that we look at these sincerely. We need to enhance our relations because our relationships are anchored in common history,” he said.
The President also touched on the issue of borders—where demarcations sometimes dump citizens who were initially deemed to be in one country in another—stressing that what matters is that there is peaceful co-existence among them.
“[Additionally], there is the issue of electricity where we share power in this region. We are looking at how we can lessen blackout problems,” he said.
On his return from the visit, the President reiterated that Malawi and Zambia need to strengthen intelligence and security for the benefit of both countries and the region as a whole.
“We are talking about the intelligence that is able to inform us, to share such information so that we are able to relate in a way that benefits both countries. As Malawi, what we want is to make sure that we cooperate with the neighbours,” said Chakwera at Kamuzu International Airport.
Lungu thanked Chakwera for visiting Zambia and emphasised the need for the two countries to further strengthen their ties for the benefit of their people.
In a post on his official Facebook page ahead of Chakwera’s visit, Lungu said Zambia and Malawi share strong historical bilateral ties and a common border.
“Our two countries continue to actively cooperate in social, political and economic areas, within the framework of the Zambia/Malawi Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security and the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation, for the betterment of our peoples,” Lungu said.
During the visit, Chakwera laid wreaths at the burial site of late presidents of Zambia Levy Mwanawasa, Fredrick Chiluba and Michael Sata.