The statement, made by the International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, during his visit to the state, marks a new partnership between Britain and Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda. Britain had suspended direct aid donations to the government of Malawi last year due to concerns regarding the economic management and governance of former President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died last month.
“Britain has been a long-time friend of Malawi and we stand ready to help Malawi during this difficult time of transaction. I have discussed with President Banda Malawi’s immediate needs and I look forward to more detailed discussions with the President and her ministers on further UK support during this visit.”
“The UK welcomes the peaceful and democratic transaction that has recently taken place in Malawi, but growth is critical to Malawi’s long-term development. That is why we will support Malawi government efforts to stabilised the economy, develop the private sector, diversify the country’s exports and get Malawi back onto the path of sustained growth.”
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Meeting with President Banda and senior Malawian finance officials in Blantrye today, the International Development Secretary is expected to affirm that Britain is determined to ensure that ordinary Malawians do not suffer short-term consequences from the devaluation, which is regarded by the international community as a positive move for Malawi’s long-term financial prosperity.
An itinerary for his three-day visit will also see Mitchell meet with representatives from civil society, the private sector, the religious community and the donor community, along with a number of UK-funded projects, such as health clinics.
In a statement made before the visit, President Banda said:
“I am looking forward to welcoming Mr Mitchell to Malawi and to continuing discussions with him on the UK’s development programme. The support from the UK is welcome, and I will be discussing with Mr Mitchell and his officials how we can best target this support to provide much needed assistance to the poor and the most vulnerable.”