Media Center Media Center

Media Briefing by Secretary (ER) during visit of Vice President to Malawi ( November 05, 2018)

November 06, 2018

Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti: The Hon’ble Vice President is currently visiting Malawi. This is the third leg of his three-nation tour of Africa which includes Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The Hon’ble Vice President was accompanied by Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, two Members of Parliament and senior officials.

After successful visits of Botswana and Zimbabwe Hon’ble Vice President arrived in Malawi yesterday i.e. 4th November. The same evening he addressed the Indian community. The Indian diaspora and NRIs number nearly 11,000 in Malawi and they have made significant contribution to the economic and social fabric of Malawi. They have also risen to important positions in a variety of fields.

The address of Vice President was received with great enthusiasm by the gathering yesterday as was the case in the previous two interactions with the Indian community in Botswana and Zimbabwe. In his meeting with the community he energized them and brought them even more closer to India.Today, the Hon’ble Vice President called on His Excellency, the President of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika. The meeting was extremely warm and extremely friendly. Hon’ble Vice President thanked him for receiving him and hosting a banquet in his honor. He also recalled the visit to India of the late brother of the President of Malawi who was himself President till 2012.

Vice President also mentioned that he was proud that an alumnus of Delhi University where his brother studied in 60s had risen to the position of the President of Malawi. His Excellency, the President of Malawi conveyed that he welcomed the Vice President as a brother and that he was deeply appreciative of the visit of the Hon’ble Vice President to Malawi at this juncture. He expressed his confidence that this visit of Vice President has strengthened our relations and has brought about tangible gains in our mutual engagement. He recalled his own visit to India accompanying his brother and expressed his determination to work closely with India in the economic and other areas to reinforce our close bilateral relations.

During the banquet which he hosted in honor of our Vice President His Excellency, the President of Malawi reiterated his special regard for India. He recalled his three visits to India and that of other Indian leaders to Malawi.

Hon’ble Vice President expressed his satisfaction that many development projects have been completed in Malawi under our assistance including the Salima Sugar Factory, the Fuel Storage Tank project etc. He conveyed that the Blantyre Water Board project implemented under our $23 million line of credit was well on its way to completion.

Vice President also conveyed our agreement to extend the new line of credit for $215.16 million for 18 water projects spread over many areas of Malawi. He also conveyed India’s happiness to construct the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Center in Blantyre under our grant assistance particularly in the context of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Vice President also unveiled the plaque to inaugurate the Business Incubation Center in Mponela well as another plaque in order to inaugurate the India Africa Center for Agriculture and Rural Development. In the field of health Vice President conveyed India’s agreement to gift the Bhabatron Cancer Treatment Machine for the Kamuzu Central Hospital’s cancer wing, 10 ambulances as well as supply of essential medicines.

Both leaders discussed enhanced cooperation in pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

In capacity building Malawi has been benefitted from our ITEC program. Around 270 Malawi officials have been to India in the year 2017-18 under ITEC and IAFS programs. India has now offered specialized training programs for Malawi defence forces as well.

Under the e-Vidhya Bharati and e-Aarogya Bharati initiative launched by India all over Africa, four universities and two medical colleges in Malawi have been selected. India will also be donating 100 thousand school text books on several subject for classes 8 to 12 in Malawi. Discussions were also held on skill development. In the area of trade & investments, both leaders recognized the potential available for enhancing the engagement particularly in trade. In this context the areas such agriculture, health, pharmaceutical as well as the engagement by the Indian private sector was envisaged.

In particular His Excellency, the President of Malawi invited India and Indian investment in the area of rare earth. In the area of agriculture India has agreed to allow imports of mangoes from Malawi. India has agreed to also set up a pan-African training institute in agriculture namely India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development under Indian grant assistance. This will cater to capacity building to all African countries in the whole Africa.

Malawi has also ratified the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance and we look forward to taking this cooperation forward. The Hon’ble Vice President also expressed his happiness to President of Malawi that the Indian diaspora has been contributing significantly to the Malawi economy and society and thanked him for looking after their welfare. Vice President also thanked Malawi for its support to India’s candidature to various UN and international bodies.

Three MoUs will be signed shortly. First is the extradition treaty, second is the MoU on cooperation in the field of atomic energy for peaceful purposes between Global Center for Nuclear Energy in partnership of the Department of Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining of Malawi. The third is the visa waiver agreement for diplomatic and official passports.

His Excellency, the President of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika hosted a luncheon in honor of the Hon’ble Vice President where Her Excellency, the First Lady was also present.

Earlier during the day the Hon’ble Vice President delivered the keynote address at the India Malawi Business Meet where ministers from Malawi cabinet as well as prominent members of the Malawi and Indian business community present in Malawi participated.

He highlighted the transformational developments taking place in India and expressed determination to strengthen the trade & investment links in Malawi. The plaques that were unveiled by the Vice President included Business Incubation Center and the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development respectively as I mentioned earlier.

Later today the Hon’ble Vice President will be inaugurating a very unique event, India for Humanity. This event is to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by a yearlong series of camps on the World Renowned Jaipur Foot and these camps will be held in all parts of the world.

The Government of India will partner the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayta Samiti in this India for Humanity initiative. Vice President will launch the very first Jaipur Foot Camp in this series in Malawi particularly since it was here in Africa that Mahatma Gandhi spent more than two decades and finally fashioned the tools which would liberate India and in turn liberate African countries from colonialism.

The Hon’ble Vice President will be leaving for India late this evening. That concludes my briefing and I am not sure that we have time to take questions right now because we have the signing of MoU very shortly.

Question:
Nuclear Energy par jo cooperation hai, wo kya hai?

(Please tell us more about the cooperation on Nuclear Energy?)

Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti: This we see as a very important agreement with Malawi. We already have an agreement with Malawi on minerals and this agreement is to reinforce this entire thing about nuclear energy partnership. Now why this is important is that Malawi has rare earth, it has the minerals but however they don’t have regulatory and administrative structure to deal with this. So therefore the exploration and exploitation of some of these minerals has not progressed very far.

So they have come to us and requested whether we could enhance their capacity to be able to look at a regulatory structure so this includes regulatory structure, which includes, for example protection, safety and other technical things and that is what we seek to do with Malawi in this and you know we have tremendous capacity and experience in this and we are very happy to share it with them and this global center is going to do that along with their Malawi counterpart. That is the crux of it.

Question: Regarding Jaipur Foot Camp, how many such camps will be held in Africa and the world over in the next one year?

Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti:
What we envisage is not less than 12 camps i.e. one camp a month but there has been, I must confess, a lot of enthusiasm and requests from many countries and therefore I expect not less than 18 camps to be held and therefore I think we will try to accommodate as many countries as possible. It will be in all continents and there has been tremendous response for this.

Question Contd.: How many beneficiaries?

Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti:
See each camp goes on for around 45 days and in these 45 days around 500 plus beneficiaries are normally taken. Because as you know they have to be there, they have to be fabricated and then fitted, so approximately if you look at it, it would be 18 camps and 500 plus beneficiaries.

Under Secretary (Digital Diplomacy): With this we conclude the press briefing.

(Concludes)

Comments

Post A Comment

  • Name *
    E-mail *
  • Write Your Comment *
  • Verification Code * Verification Code