Thursday, 29 October 2015

Statement by H.E. Mr George Chaponda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malawi

Statement by H.E. Mr George Chaponda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of MalawiHonourable Simbarashe Mumbengengwi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the African Union; Honourable Shirimati Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, and Co-Chairperson;
Your Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission; Fellow Foreign Ministers;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is my honour to address this important Forum, which is playing a pivotal role in enhancing the economic, social, and cultural cooperation between India and Africa. Before I proceed, allow me, to express my profound gratitude and sincere appreciation to His Excellency the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and the Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi for the warm hospitality accorded to me and my delegation, and for the facilities put at our disposal for the success of this Forum. Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Africa is on the rise.

It has been deemed as the new frontier for economic growth, in fact the last one, as all other parts of the globe have developed, while we have lagged behind. Regardless, we are all aware of the immense opportunities for wealth creation available in our countries - from the vast natural resources, to trade and investment opportunities for industrialisation, and a lot of other sectors.  

However, the economic progress that has been achieved by most African countries is an opportunity, and not a destination, as argued by renowned International Strategist, Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the reason for our partnership, to enhance the economic capabilities and opportunities, in order to ensure equitable growth in our respective countries.  

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Africa-India Partnership, founded on the principle of mutual benefit, underscores the need for us to engage in a consultative process, in order to ensure that there is sustainability in the projects we are mutually implementing. It is not surprising therefore, that major projects under this partnership are a success, as African countries and their leaders decide on the key priority areas of focus that affect their people the most and pave the way for sustainable development.

This aspect of our partnership is critical to achieve sustained economic development, as only Africans will develop Africa, of course in partnership with our colleagues such as India.  

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen It is also pleasing to note that India’s support for Africa continues to increase, since the inception of our partnership in 2008. In particular, I am gratified to note that the Government of India has further extended the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for goods for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in order to ensure increased market access to India by more African LDCs. This is timely with the realisation that what Africa needs most is trade other than aid. Read More...

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