By Nellie Kapatuka:
President Lazarus Chakwera has said remarkable progress that Malawi and Mozambique have made in their bilateral talks would go a long way in ensuring developmental benefits for the people of the two countries.
He made the remarks on Wednesday at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, during a joint Press briefing with Mozambican President, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi at the end of a three day State visit.
Describing the visit as historical, Chakwera applauded President, Nyusi for accepting his invitation saying it would go a long way in strengthening bilateral ties that exist between the two nations.
“These are rich memories, yes, but it is important to remember that this is also history. A Mozambican President standing side by side with a Malawian President on Malawian soil and on friendly terms is an historical milestone, and credit goes to Your Excellency for your solidarity and leadership in seeing that this history is made to unmake all past and future obstacles to the warm camaraderie between our sibling nations,” he said.
According to Malawi Leader, the MOMA Interconnection Project which the two Heads of State launched on Tuesday in Balaka district, would ensure that the electricity blackouts that Malawi has already put behind, remain in the past.
Chakwera said the project would for the first time connect Malawi to the Southern Africa Power Pool, adding clean energy to the national grid.
On the railway project connecting Malawi to Mozambique through the Sena Line, the President said it would ease the transportation of goods and services for people in the country and spur economic growth of Malawi and also Mozambique.
He expressed optimism that the cordial relationship between Malawi and Mozambique would go further in presenting new opportunities for the two countries to closely work together.
“With the developmental foundation we have laid, Your Excellency, opportunities for working closely together going forward abound. I particularly have in mind the
opportunity to work closely together on various projects along the Sena Railway Corridor and other infrastructural projects along the Nacala and Beira Corridors also have in mind the opportunity to work closely together on the resumption of services of
Mozambican vessels between the Nyasa Province, Likoma Island, and Nkhatabay,” Chakwera explained.
These kind of projects according to Malawi President, would give an opportunity for the two countries to champion and lead by example in the creation of integrated
SADC infrastructure for sustainable economic development.
He hinted on the legal instruments Malawi and Mozambique have
signed on the revised bilateral trade agreement and one stop border post agreement which would simplify, harmonize and expedite border controls, and
enhance trade facilitation between the two countries.
President Nyusi described the outcomes of his three day visit to Malawi as quite positive saying the developmental activities happening between the two countries would indeed be for the benefit of people.
He said the power interconnection project would help in sorting out power issues that Malawi has.
“The power project was there but was not moving forward in terms of progress. Hope is now there as developmental partners have also come in to support the project together with ourselves,” Nyusi added.
According to Mozambican Leader, the Sena railway project was very paramount saying it would help in lowering the cost of living for the people of Malawi.
“Transportation of things like fuel and fertilizers which Malawi uses most for agricultural production, will be eased which will help the sectors to be more efficient,” he said.
Nyusi said people would appreciate better the benefits the railway line would bring forth once it starts operating.
In a communique released by Ministries of Foreign Affairs for the two countries, the two leaders held bilateral talks where they shared information on the political, economic and social situation in the two countries, assessed the status of bilateral cooperation, discussed the importance of the historical ties that exist between the two countries and also shared notes on issues of common interest in the region, continent and across the globe.
The leaders have since agreed to continue working together to maintain and strengthen bilateral ties in various areas of mutual interest on the basis of mutual benefit to maintain political and diplomatic consultations for the joint search for solutions to issues of mutual interest such as armed conflicts, terrorism and violent extremism, peace, security, development, climate change, COVID-19.
They have agreed to strengthen the Malawi-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC).
Whilst in the country, Mozambican President officially opened the 5th SADC Industrialization Week, currently underway in Lilongwe.
President Nyusi who arrived into the country on November 22, 2021 and left the country to Mozambique through the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.