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Malawi Finance Minister in 'challenging' €560m assignment in Europe

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Malawi Finance Minister in 'challenging' €560m assignment in Europe

Malawi's new Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba travels to Brussels, Belgium, next week on an assignment that has been described as both a "challenge" and "an opportunity" as he will negotiate a €560 million funding for Malawi for the next seven years. "It is a challenging assignment but at the same time an opportunity," Malawi's Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Brave Ndisale told PANA in an exclusive interview in Brussels. Mkwezalamba will be in Brussels to negotiate the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020).
The negotiations come at a time when most of Malawi's development partners, including the EU, have suspended budgetary support following the unprecedented looting of public resources at the seat of government, Capital Hill. "The current government has discovered issues of corruption and it is addressing them, fraud has been discovered and government has accepted it and it is addressing the same," Ndisale said.
The envoy nonetheless said after accepting that there is a problem, how government addresses it is very crucial to the future relations with development partners, including the EU. "How you address the problem is an opportunity," she said. "All eyes are on Malawi. We must not only send out the political message, but also we must demonstrate how we are addressing the issue both in the short and long term."
Mkwezalamba and his entourage will meet the EU commissioners, led by Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, where he will present Malawi's case for the 11th European Development Fund, which will focus on sectors of Agriculture and Food Security, Governance and Education, including development of technical colleges between 2014 and 2020.

Source: africanmanager.com