By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
President Lazarus Chakwera has called on the government of Qatar to assist Malawi in addressing the forex and fuel challenges currently crippling the economic development of the country.
Chakwera made the call during the bilateral talks he had on Wednesday, 8th March, 2023, with Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah who is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State of Defence Affairs of Qatar.
During the talks which came on the sidelines of the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries underway in Doha, Qatar, Malawi Leader appealed for the Qatari Government to consider a line credit to Malawi that he said will assist the country in mitigating the forex and fuel shortages in the country.
Further, President Chakwera said Malawi needs a line credit in order for the shortage of forex to stabilize and enhance the availability of fuel to be improved across the country, adding that currently the shortage of the two is disturbing business operations and wreaking havoc on the economy of Malawi.
The two leaders who were meeting for the first time ever also discussed ways of strengthening the ties between their countries in various sectors like agriculture in which President Chakwera expressed his desire for Malawi to be exporting beef, vegetables, goat meat, and other products to international markets including Qatar in the near future. But President Chakwera quickly said for this to happen, there is a need to modernize the agricultural sector.
Here, Chakwera hinted on the vision of working together with Qatar through Foreign Direct Investment, including equipping Malawian farmers with resources and skills for high production, saying if well utilized, Malawi has fertile land to yield more, thereby appealing Qatari Government to support Malawi in the mechanization drive with tractors among others.
Chakwera also implored government of Qatar to consider investing in Education in Malawi by among others establishing a University that would specialize in areas of architecture and agriculture to help consolidating the aforementioned initiatives and aspirations for Malawi.
President Chakwera has since thanked the Government of Qatar for demonstrating commitment and support for the Least Developed Countries by pledging 60 Million United States Dollars towards the implementation of the Doha Plan of Action.
The meeting with Al Attiyah is one among many meetings that President Chakwera has held while in Qatar for the development of Malawi.