Comesa to award Bingu
02 September 2010, The Times Group Publications
Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) will give an award to President Bingu wa Mutharika in Swaziland.
The President on Monday flew to Swaziland to attend Comesa’s 14th heads of state summit.
Speaking on departure from Kamuzu International Airport, Mutharika said he was expected to receive an award as former Secretary General as gratitude for what he achieved during his reign.
Mutharika was at the helm of Comesa between 1991 and 1997 and was instrumental in the formulation of Comesa, which migrated from the Preferential Trade Agreement.
The theme of the summit is ‘Harnessing science and technology for development’.
Mutharika said science and technology have become important tools for attaining development in the Africa region and that is why it was the centre of the talks.
While in Swaziland, Mutharika will attend Umhlanga, an annual reed dance in Swaziland, where teenage girls pay homage to the Swazi queen mother in bare chest traditional garb.
Soon after the summit, Mutharika is expected to leave for Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited him.
For the first time, Mutharika disclosed his itinerary and told MBC radio that he would not be long and Malawians should expect him back either on Saturday or Sunday.
“I will visit Hamburg Port which is the same as Nsanje Port which connects the Rhine river so that I can learn how we can use the same technology for the Shire Zambezi Waterway,” he said.
From Hamburg, Mutharika will proceed to Berlin where he is expected to meet the German president Christian Wulff and Merkel, who was reelected Chancellor last June.
After meeting the leaders, Mutharika will visit Frankfurt to meet with German business captains to woo them to invest in Malawi.
“As you can see, during this trip I will stop here and there but I will not be long. I should be back by Saturday or Sunday,” he said.
Minister of Trade and Industry Eunice Kazembe told Malawi News Agency in Swaziland that Malawi wanted to intensify science and technology programmes in schools and colleges but also enlighten other states in the regional bloc the strides made in climate change interventions.