Monday, December 14, 2009

Dr Mutharika praises China over projects

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika laying the foundation stone. Looking on is Chinese ambassador to Malawi, Lin Songtian.

By Our Reporter

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika has heaped praises on the government for the Peoples Republic of China describing it as a true friend for Malawi.

He said this has been evidenced by the full realization of the projects they promised to undertake when the two countries established diplomatic relations about two years ago.

The Malawian leader was speaking in the administrative capital, Lilongwe during the ground breaking ceremony for an international conference centre and its complimentary hotel.

The luxurious international conference arena and hotel project is receiving funding from the Chinese government.

“The government and the people of the Peoples Republic of China are true friends and this indeed evidenced by the full realization of projects they promised,” said Ngwazi Dr Mutharika.

He said that the Malawi government tried to look for assistance for this project from other donors but to no avail before the Chinese government came in to finance the project.

President Mutharika reminded the gathering that many people criticized him when he switched diplomatic ties by dumping Taiwan and taking on the Peoples Republic of China.

He said in doing so, he showed his visionary leadership skills.

The State President mentioned that even the world at large recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate China.

“The United Nations and the African Union recognizes one China in the Peoples Republic of China, why should Malawi be the odd one out,” he said.

With a number of all the development projects China is carrying out within a short period of establishing relationship, the Malawi leader wondered what would people be looking for in a friend more than what China is doing now.

He challenged his critics, those who were saying he was wrong to dump Taiwan for China, to come out and say he was wrong.

Dr Mutharika then told the gathering that the international conference centre and hotel complex is a milestone in the development of Malawi as it has clearly demonstrated government commitment to develop the infrastructure to international standards.

“Many summits, conferences, workshops in the SADC or Africa could not be hosted in Malawi because of lack of adequate and modern facilities to accommodate large number of people. As a country, Malawi lost out on benefits from these international conferences, that’s why my government looked for assistance from China to build this conference centre and its hotel,” he said.

The State President described the international conference centre and hotel as seen on drawings mounted at the venue as structures out of Malawi and out of this world.

“In fact, I was joking with the Chinese ambassador that it will actually be Shanghai in Lilongwe.”

In his remarks, the Chinese ambassador to Malawi, Lin Songtian, explained that the international conference centre will boost tourism in Malawi, provide employment opportunities and bring to Malawi the much needed revenue.

He said the project is another manifestation of the strong relationship existing between Malawi and China thought it is only less than two years old.

Lin Songtian said that though the whole world is suffering from global financial crisis, China keeps all its promises to Malawi and has not hesitated to deliver the projects one by one including this huge project.

“The relationship between Malawi and China is less than two years but it has developed rapidly and fruitful and China has become a very important development partner for Malawi,” he said.

The ambassador revealed that trade mainly through tobacco export has greatly increased and Chinese investment has grown tremendously amount to 55% of direct foreign investments in Malawi in the first half of this year, one such investment is the Balaka cotton project.

According to the deputy Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure, Francis Kasaila, the capacity for the conference centre will be 1, 500 seats while the banquet hall will have 1, 000 occupants, and the hotel 130 rooms plus 10 VVIP on top of 20 presidential villas.

He said it will be completed in two and half years and will cost U$ 90 million.

Apart from this international conference hall and the hotel, the Chinese government is also funding the construction of the new Parliament building in Lilongwe, the Chitipa-Karonga road construction and very soon, the Chinese will kick-start the construction of an international football stadium in Lilongwe-Malawi Digest.


  1. Good news indeed -- Could you pls post the drawings and pictures that were posted at the venue.

  2. This govt iribe nzache pachitukuko. It has surpassed all previous govts.