President Lazarus Chakwera has secured supplementary support from the United Kingdom (UK) government to strengthen Malawi’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.
Posting on his Facebook page on Thursday, the President said the additional support is one of the benefits of his presence at the Global Education Summit he attended on Wednesday and Thursday .
Said Chakwera: “One of the reasons I agreed to attend the Global Education Summit in person was to leverage on the sidelines of the event to hold bilateral talks with Dominic Raab, the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
“I am happy to report that I have secured the British Government’s commitment of additional support towards Malawi’s fight against Covid-19 and climate change.”
In a tweet after meeting Chakwera, Raab said: “I welcome the President’s [Chakwera] commitment to spend 20 percent of public expenditure on education and prioritise school reform.”
The President left the country on Sunday to attend the summit amid criticism from both local and international media over his physical attendance.
However, both presidential press secretary Brian Banda and Minister of Information Gospel Kazako, who is also the official government spokesperson, justified the trip, saying it was important for the country at large and that it was upon invitation of the summit’s co-chairpersons.
On the sidelines of the summit, Chakwera on Thursday also held bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson where they discussed a wide range of issues including trade, climate change and education, according to State House press office.
“The Prime Minister also expressed both his joy at seeing the President and his desire to cement the Malawi-UK partnership to leverage green technologies in Malawi,” said the State House press office.
Besides, the State House press office said Chakwera and Johnson also agreed to discuss the matters further when they meet again at Glasgow in Scotland during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (CoP26) in November this year.
The President participated in a high-level dialogue for Heads of State on financing for transformation. He was among 150 delegates to the summit alongside Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje.
Prior to the summit, both Chakwera and NyaLonje held a briefing with James Duddridge, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Africa.
Earlier, Chakwera also met with the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, Professor Ngaire Woods, where he presented her with a blueprint which the university and his administration can work together on human capacity development.
Meanwhile, the President is today scheduled to deliver an address at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House. Vice-President Saulos Chilima and former presidents Peter Mutharika, Joyce Banda and the late Bingu Wa Mutharika have previously addressed the house.