Remarks by Honourable Francis Kasaila, M.P., 2016 July 4th Celebration

  • Your Excellency, Virginia Palmer, Ambassador of the United States of America to Malawi;
  • Your Excellency, Tandiwe Dumbutshena, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps;
  • Right Honourable Richard Msowoya, Speaker of Malawi Parliament;
  • Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers, here present;
  • Dr Lazarus Chakwera, Leader of the opposition in Parliament and President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP);
  • All the Heads of Mission, and Organisations;
  • Mr George Mkondiwa, Chief Secretary to the Government,
  • Senior Government Officials;
  • American nationals resident in Malawi
  • Distinguished Guests,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honour, and a special privilege for me to grace this auspicious occasion this evening, on behalf of His Excellency the President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, and the people of Malawi, to celebrate the 240th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America (USA). At the outset, let me pass a message of heartfelt and sincere best wishes, from the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency the President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, to His Excellency President Barack Obama, the Government and the people of the USA, for their national day today.

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the American people are celebrating, Malawi would like to join you, by appreciating the success the American people have achieved for their country. Malawi admires the development this great nation has achieved in all spheres of life. We are all aware of this, and the progress the USA has achieved over the past 240 years. As a nation, we continue to learn from your great country, in our journey of development.

America, today is a paragon of democracy, transparency, human rights, and respect for the rule of law. I believe this is what has made many a people, all over the world, to admire the American dream, which has been achieved because of the hard work, and following rules for a better and just life for every citizen.

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a nation, we have our own dream, which embodies being a prosperous society, founded on democratic values, to attain economic success. The Government of Malawi has every intention to create an enabling environment, to consolidate our democracy and for effective operations of various institutions. Let me report here, that Malawi is making tremendous strides, in consolidating her democracy, through the enhancement of the rule of law, promotion and protection of human rights, and civil liberties for all, regardless of gender, race, religion, political affiliation, and other considerations.

It is in this spirit, that His Excellency President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika, and the government, has taken a tough stance on those attacking people with albinism. The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has also gone further to translate that tough stance into action, by conducting mass sensitization campaigns, on the rights and freedoms of people with albinism. They are also carrying out speedy investigations and prosecution of people suspected of taking part in perpetuating this vice. In the same vein, Malawi Parliament has amended the Anatomy Act, to bring stiffer penalties for perpetrators of abduction, and killing of people with albinism.

In this respect, I wish to request our development partners, to continue standing with us, as we continue embarking on this journey. As the saying goes, “good friends make the good times better and the hard times easier”, defines very well the type of friendship Americans are to Malawi. You have been with us, through the hard and great times, and continue to do so. Since Malawi attained independence in 1964, the people of the United States of America have been a true friend to Malawi. Malawi has enjoyed this cordial and warm diplomatic relations with USA over the years.

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me, to express our profound gratitude to the USA, for the continued assistance to Malawi, in various sectors, such as governance, energy, health, peace and security, among others.

We are grateful to the the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in Malawi, for their continued support of uplifting Malawi’s socio-development, sustainable livelihoods, and ensuring that our citizens rights are uplifted, and other development endeavours. Most significant is the fact that, USAID continues to expand and broaden its programmes, by aligning and investing within the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS)priorities.

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to specifically highlight the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Malawi Compact Programme, which is being implemented to improve the country’s power sector. When it came into force in the year 2013, many thought the goals of the project were unattainable. However, I am pleased to note that there has been tremendous progress in the implementation of the programme. The Project, when completed, is set to improve the social economic status of the country, by among other things, improving the availability and quality of the power supply in the country, we are certain that this too, will help reduce poverty levels of many Malawians, as well as promote the development of the private sector.

The Government of Malawi recognises that energy is the driver of investment and sustainable economic development. We are striving to have an environment, that stimulates business and industrial activities, thereby enhancing productivity, job creation, wealth creation, and business opportunities.

Let me, therefore, assure, Your Excellency Virginia Palmer, that the Government of Malawi, will continue to provide an enabling atmosphere, for the efficient implementation of the MCC Project in the country. We are looking forward to seeing a totally different Malawi, as a result of the benefits of the Programme.

Your Excellency,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

While there are several things which can be highlighted in our relationship with the people of America, strengthening our relationship remains crucial to the peoples of the two countries. Our aspirations require support from our development partners, such as the USA. It is the desire of this government to graduate from being Aid to Trade dependent, but for this to materialise, we need investment. That is why, we are organising the second Malawi Investment Forum, in October, 2016. Once again, we look forward to many more American investors to come and join us at this Forum, in three months time.

May I therefore, take this opportunity to request the American people, through you, your Excellency to consider taking Malawi as an investment destination. You are all aware of the efforts Government is initiating to create an environment for the smooth operation of the private sector.

You will recall, Excellency, that it was only last year, when our two countries signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), that provides for cooperation in issues of military cooperation between our two countries. We do not take all this cooperation, for granted, Your Excellency. Last week, Assistant Secretary for Africa, Linda Greenfield visited Malawi, and discussed with us, matters of enhanced development cooperation. That is how friends should interact with each other, for the common good of our peoples.

As America’s election period moves into another gear, we are closely monitoring the campaign, and drawing lessons from the democratic discourse in a country that has practised democracy, for over 240 years. Malawi’s democratic experience has so far run for 22 years only, but we are catching up! Rest assured!

Your Excellency, 

 Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

With these few remarks, may I request you all, to join me in a toast, to the personal good health and happiness of His Excellency President Barack Obama, and to the prosperity and wellbeing of the people of the United States of America.

I thank you for your attention!