Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Malawi’s Capital Lilongwe during his meeting with President Peter Mutiara and stated his visit seeks to cement cordial relationship that exists between the two countries and also wants to discuss and explore how Scotland can continue with its aid and development activities to ensure that the poorest are benefiting more.
He further emphasized that he wants to explore how his country can assist with Trade and Investment, get Scottish companies to come to Malawi to invest and help local entrepreneurship and create local jobs and local wealth. He indicated companies in Scotland will be interested to invest in number of areas especially in Agro-business and in renewable energy.
Among others, Yousaf said his visit will include knowing from Malawi how relationship between two countries has improved lives of people as well see if Scotland can work across in more specific sectors including work with NGO’s and take advice from people of Malawi on what should be the development priorities.
Speaking earlier, President Peter Mutharika said, he was grateful to receive the Scottish Minister in Malawi as the visit symbolizes commitment and goodwill of Scottish government to strengthen long standing bilateral relationship. He said Scotland remains a major development partner to Malawi in areas of ending poverty and achieving sustainable development. He also stated under their cooperate agreement, Malawi continues to benefit immensely in areas such as Agriculture and Food Security, Trade and Investment, Infrastructure, Health, Gender and Education.
“The Malawi Government has compiled a list of bankable projects ranging from the agricultural sector to mining sector. For decades, Malawi was believed to be a country with no natural resources. But the story is different now. We now know that we are sitting on a land rich with minerals resources such as bauxite, oil and gas, gold and uranium among others. Some of our most unique investment opportunities include that we have world-class deposits of tantalum, which is useful for cellphone technology. We have some of the earth’s largest deposits of rare earth minerals, which are strategically important for modern hi-tech industries.
“Furthermore, we would be most grateful if Scotland could also assist Malawi in identifying investors who would be willing to invest in a bankable project proposal for the development of a new railway system for Malawi. We need a transport corridor that connects Malawi with Zambia, through the Tazara Railway System. This corridor will improve our transport system in our quest to remain competitive in the region,” said Mutharika.
The President also thanked the Scottish government for timely assistance to Malawi with £150,000 during floods that devastated Malawi this year. He added that Malawi is also pursuing number of activities that promote trade and create conducive environment for investors.
Malawi and Scotland share along history which dates back to 19th Century when the first missionaries came to Malawi to spread Christianity. The coming of the Scottish Minister also marks 156 years since Dr. David Livingstone came to Malawi and 10 years since the two countries signed Cooperation Agreement in November 2005.