After wrapping up his assignments in New York where he attended the fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (UN-LDC5), President Chakwera went to Washington DC to fulfill a number of key engagements at the State Department and International Monetary among other tasks.
The President, on Friday March 18, held talks with United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to cement US – Malawi relations in many areas of mutual interest.
Malawi’s diplomatic relations with the United States date back to the early 1960s when the country gained independence and became a Republic. In relation to this, President Chakwera highlighted the impact the US had had on Malawi’s socioeconomic development through interventions in various sectors such as Health, Agriculture, Education, Social Services and Democracy.
The Malawi leader reiterated his administration’s commitment to consolidate justice and human rights by dealing away with social vices such as human trafficking and child labour.
Secretary Blinken applauded Malawi for showcasing remarkable democratic success story. His sentiments were a direct reference to the Judiciary’s independence in remedying the 2019 Presidential election anomalies and the subsequent management of the 2020 Fresh Presidential poll by the electoral commission.
Earlier in the day President Chakwera met the Director General of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva. The two discussed Malawi’s macroeconomic situation and how the Fund can better revive and reconfigure its credit program in Malawi.
The President assured the IMF boss of continued adherence to policy adjustments which are a requisite for the attainment of the next Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program with Malawi.
The adjustments have been necessitated by audit revelations that the previous regime misreported the country’s economic posture to massage local favourable perceptions from the public.
The IMF has since expressed commitment to support Malawi in the recovery process in the aftermath of devastation caused by natural disasters, Covid 19 pandemic and other geopolitical factors.
According to President Chakwera, Government of Malawi will collaboratively implement its programs with the IMF in alignment with the country’s short and long term development efforts as guided by Social Economic Recovery Plan (SERP), Vision Malawi2063 and its first decade implementation strategy plan MW2063 Implementation Plan (MIP1).
Also part of the President’s itinerary was a meeting with Administrator for United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power. The two discussed sustained collaboration between Malawi and USAID to attain sustainable livelihoods for everyone.
USAID has since committed US$11 million to support Malawi’s efforts around reversing the disruptions to our food systems as well as technical support towards the fight against corruption.
The Malawi leader also held talks with Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Alice Albright, to further navigate the cooperation between the two entities ahead of the forthcoming second compact.
The second MCC compact to Malawi, expected to be signed later this year, will be implemented to increase land productivity and improve road infrastructure as key enablers of sustainable economic growth.
The President returns home on Monday, March 21 through Kamuzu International Airport.