President Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday evening left the country for the United Kingdom (UK) where he is expected to attend the Global Education Summit scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Speaking at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe before departure, Chakwera described the summit as important for Malawi as the country is still exploring ways on how best to elevate dwindling education standards.
He said: “The summit is crucial because we will have a chance with partners who share the same sentiments like ours to raise the levels of education.”
The President, who was seen off by Vice-President Saulos Chilima and other government officials, also said the summit will provide a platform to find solutions on how best the girl child can be motivated not to drop out of school.
Apart from the summit, Chakwera is on Friday expected to make an address at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House.
Chatham House analyses and promotes understanding of international issues and affairs.
Chilima and former presidents Peter Mutharika, Joyce Banda and the late Bingu wa Mutharika have previously addressed the institute.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President is also scheduled to hold numerous high-profile meetings during his stay in the UK.
“In addition, and in continuing with the investment drive in Malawi, His Excellency will engage with rail transport infrastructure project promoters including the Uroven Group.
“His Excellency will also hold a meeting with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group of the British Parliament in order to discuss developments in Malawi and explore collaborative avenues in support of the country’s development agenda,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further states that the President will also meet UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson where he is expected to discuss the relationship between the UK and Malawi, and further seek more support towards the country’s development agenda.
In addition, Chakwera is also expected to meet Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss how to strengthen the relationship between Malawi and Kenya.
“Furthermore, the two Heads of State will discuss how Malawi can benefit more from the Global Partnership on Education [GPE], more so, considering that the President of Kenya is a co-host of the GPE in London,” further reads the statement.
In an earlier interview, presidential press secretary Brian Banda said Chakwera could not attend the summit virtually because of the huge benefits it has for the country’s education sector.
“He said: “The UK summit is a big summit on global partnership on education. President Chakwera together with President Kenyatta of Kenya and the Prime Minister of United Kingdom are the centre of this conference.
“There are also a number of people that will be part and parcel of this conference. It’s not just a one-man show and even if the Prime Minister might be in isolation, it doesn’t make the whole conference fail because it has other experts. President Chakwera is going there to do a job. He is going there under strict Covid measures.”
The summit seeks to mobilise pledges to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories over the five-year period.