Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Michael Usi has said Malawi cherishes its partnership with the United States (US), which has existed for many years.
He was speaking on Friday, July 2, 2021, when he represented President Lazarus Chakwera at the commemoration of 245th Independence Anniversary of the United States of America at a function that took place at the US Ambassador's residence in Lilongwe.
The minister said the journey that US has been on for two and a half centuries is an inspiration and hope to young nations such as Malawi, for which the country takes pride to draw lessons from. He said the two countries share ideals and Malawi is committed to continue upholding these ideals for the betterment of the people of Malawi and enhancement of bilateral relationship between the two countries.
"The United States has been Malawi's partner since our independence in 1964. Since our return to multiparty democracy in 1993, we have witnessed increased support from the United States, towards strengthening of our country's institutions, for the growth of democracy. Among other benefits, such support has led to the strengthening of Malawi's public and private institutions for better delivery of social services; and to the empowerment of youth and women to play a more constructive role in the nation's development. A legacy development in our culture," said the minister.
He also thanked the US for helping Malawi in its response against COVID-19, which he said is an unprecedented menace to the global population and to Malawi.
Said Usi: "I wish to express, on behalf of the people of Malawi, profound gratitude for the timely support of more than USD$6 million in global health resources that the United States government has provided to Malawi during this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic. The bilateral health partnerships we share have bolstered Malawi's COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, in line with the government of Malawi's National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan."
In his speech, the US Ambassador to Malawi Robert Scott said the relationship between the US and Malawi is based on a partnership that is passed on from generation to generation, adding that it is a partnership with historical connotations.
Scott said the partnership cuts across areas such as energy, agriculture diversification; market linkages, energy, anti-corruption and strengthening institutions that Malawians depend on for service delivery.
"Our development finance corporation plan has up to more than more than 700 million additional dollars available that would help finance more bankable projects for Malawi. We are also supporting Malawi's accountability institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Financial Intelligence Authority, and the Ombudsperson. We are extremely pleased that the Malawi government has funded these key intuitions to undertake their mandate," said the Ambassador, adding that a large part of the US plan is to work directly with Malawian NGOs.
The US Ambassador said he is also proud of the relationship that is there between the US and MDF in carrying out joint training programs.
He said US military academies are always open for Malawian soldiers, and gave an example of Brigadier General Dan Kuwali who has started a one year training at a US military academy in Pennsylvania.
For the first time, there were just a handful people with a large part of the audience engaged virtually as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from the speeches, there was also a parade by the US National Guard; the raising of the US national flag and sampling of US food.