The Flemish government has committed to support Malawians in improving their lives through implementation of programmes in the social sectors of health, education and agriculture.
Koen Verlaeckt, the secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Flanders, said this after an audience with President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Thursday during which he outlined the country’s programmes in social sectors, among them an agriculture and food security project being carried out in Mzimba and Kasungu.
Verlaeckt said the Flanders government would strengthen bilateral ties with Malawi to increase areas of cooperation from the current social sectors.
He said the ongoing food security project to run for five years incorporating elements of commercial agriculture, the processing of agricultural products and developing markets would be rolled out in the country in due course.
However, Mutharika called for the government of Flanders to assist in increasing the number of community colleges in the country as one way of enhancing skills amongst youths.
Currently, the second strategy paper of cooperation between Malawi and Flanders is in the sector of agriculture and food security under the Sector Wide Approach on Agriculture.
He added that his government was trying to create a skilled workforce to support direct investment to enhance industrialisation and job creation.
The President also asked for assistance in implementing the GreenBelt Initiative which aims to use water from the lakes and rivers for large- scale irrigation farming.
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking area in northern Belgium with a population of six million people and it established bilateral cooperation with Malawi in 2007.