Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

e-Comesa newsletter - 94
Issue #94
5 April 2007

Malawi On Track to achieve MDGs-President Mbingu wa Mutharika

The President of the Republic of Malawi His Excellency Dr Mbingu wa Mutharika has reiterated that Malawi is on the right track to achieve the crucial Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). President Mutharika said his Government is steadily implementing sound policies that support the achievement of the United Nations backed MDGs by 2010 or 2011. The President was speaking at State House in Lilongwe on 5th April 2007 when he met COMESA Secretary General Mr Erastus Mwencha and Malawi High Commissioner to Zambia Her Excellency Madam Dr Chrissie Chawanje Mughogho. Malawi Minister of Industry, Trade and Private Sector Development Honourable Dr Ken Lipenga was also part of the delegation.

“This government has prioritized certain sectors such as poverty reduction, development of agriculture and energy which will greatly help us bring about development and attain food security. All these are part of the crucial MDGs and we are working round the clock to ensure that Malawi achieves this,” President Mutharika said. The Head of State is also former Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Dr Mutharika was proud to inform the delegation that Malawi has so far recorded positive developments in the five areas which have been prioritised by the Government namely: agriculture, transport, energy, rural development and the social sector. He pointed out that the Republic of Malawi is committed to regional integration and was implementing programmes that would benefit the entire COMESA region.

“We are expecting another huge surplus in maize and other crops. This development will greatly help us in feeding how people most of whom had been facing serious food shortages in the recent past. Malawi is now a food basket for the region. This is one achievement we never thought could be attained in this country,” President Mutharika informed the COMESA delegation.

In responding to President Mutharika, Secretary General Mwencha used the opportunity to congratulate the Government of President Mutharika and the people of Malawi for the recent positive developments which have positioned the country as the region’s food basket. Malawi has recorded very good food surplus with maize alone standing at 1.2 million metric tonnes (surplus alone) for the 2006 farming season. This figure is up from a maize surplus of 500, 000 metric tonne in the year 2005.

Mr Mwencha added that the entire region is impressed with the positive economic growth recorded in Malawi where the inflation rate is at 9% and economic growth was recorded at 8.4% in 2005.

“Clearly we are more than impressed to note the positive developments in Malawi Your sound economic polices are bearing fruit. This kind of development must be supported not only by people here in Malawi but the region as a whole. It is only through such kind of prudent management of the economic that most of our countries will attain full development,” the visibly impressed Secretary General told President Mutharika.

Mr Mwencha also commended President Mutharika for his wise guidance and commitment to ensure that works on the Shire/Zambezi water Transport Project begins soon. Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Shire/Zambezi project on 25th April 2007 in the capital city Lilongwe.

The mission to Malawi was part of the Secretary General’s programme of visiting member States at different times to consult and discuss the regional integration agenda and exchange ideas on how member States can maximize their benefits from COMESA and its institutions such as the PTA Bank, the African Trade Insurance (ATI), Zep-Re and the Clearing House.

Mr Mwencha carried a brief to President Mutharika which highlighted different issues concerning market integration, the Free Trade Area, the COMESA Customs Union, COMESA’s support to infrastructure development in Malawi, the programme on One stop border posts, the COMESA Fund, agriculture, investment and private sector development. Other issues discussed were multilateral and bilateral agreements, EPA negotiations, rationalization of African RECs and the harmonization of COMESA-SADC-EAC.

The upcoming COMESA Summit of Heads of State and Governments to be held in May 2007 was also discussed.

On this mission, the COMESA delegation also held meetings with Finance Minister Honourable Goodall Gondwe, Foreign Affairs Minister Honourable Mrs Joyce Banda, Transport Minister Honourable Henry Mussa, Chief Secretary to the Cabinet Ambassador Bright Msaka, Agriculture Deputy Minister Honourable Bintony Kuntsaira, Industry and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Private Sector Development Mr Newby Kumwembe. The delegation had a breakfast briefing with the business community who included farmers and experts from different business circles.

Staff from the Secretariat that accompanied Mr Mwencha were Chief Technical Advisor on EPA Negotiations Dr Moses Tekere, Legal Officer Mr Brian Chigawa and Muzinge Nampito-Chibomba Public Relations Assistant.

Other features in this newsletter:

  • COMESA USAID (East Africa) sign close to $ 4 million dollars agreement
  • Shire/Zambezi Water Transport project Soon To Be Reality – Mwencha
  • Malawi to stick to Subsidies in Agriculture
  • Donors endorse first COMESA CAADP COMPACT As Partners sign the Rwanda CAADP COMPACT
  • The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) Admits Sudan at its 6th Ordinary General Assembly in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
  • COMESA Secretary General Calls on Business Community

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