President Peter Mutharika says he is striving to leave Malawians happier than he found them by providing basic social services to every community by the end of his final term in 2024.
Speaking when he delivered a thought provoking lecture at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) of the University of London in the United Kingdom upon invitation on Tuesday evening, Mutharika said he wants to ensure that every community is food secure, has electricity, a good road network, water, health care, secondary school and a community technical college.
"I want people in every community to create their own jobs, have basic social services for them to be productive and be happy.
"It is by empowering the youth, men and women with access to education, industrial skills and access to capital that we can industrialize Malawi and create new wealth. This initiative must be done in a free and democratic society with a government that is accountable to its people," said Mutharika.
He then told the gathering that his government is doing everything possible to use investment opportunities and move from aid to trade as a way of moving from poverty to prosperity.
During the speech, Mutharika also noted that the popular image is that the West is the benevolent giver while Africa is the poor receiver. He said the narrative is constructed and popularized to justify aid and overshadow the exploitation of the continent.
"The truth is that every year, more wealth leaves Africa than the aid and loans that enter the continent. While Africa receives about $162 billion every year, about $203 billion leaves the continent to Europe. Africa is losing $41 billion or 32 billion pounds every year. This is according to Honest Accounts 2017 Report, also published in The Guardian-- your paper here!
"We are made to believe that Africa is a corruption-infested continent full of bad leadership because the world has to be kept blind from this global syndicate of exploitation. We are convinced to find a reason to blame Africans for their situation," said Mutharika.
He then called for the need to reject and unlearn all the myths, stereotypes and negative concepts of African people saying the continent cannot achieve anything positive with negative thinking.
The Professor of Law's lecture was entitled: "Moving an African Society From Poverty to Prosperity: Opportunities and Challenges" and was attended by University Professors, Deans of Faculties and students of the London University.
The debate was moderated by Baroness Valerie Amos of Brondesbury, the first black woman to serve as a Minister in the British cabinet and in the House of Lords. Valerie was also an adviser to the Mandela Government on leadership and change management issues.
Valerie also served as UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN in 2010 as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
The University of London contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes. The university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom.