By Sylvester Kumwenda
President Peter Mutharika says His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry remains a loyal partner in the development of Malawi and that his works in the nation aligns well with the presidents’ vision of transforming Malawi.
He made the remarks Sunday evening at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when he had an audience with Prince Harry who is on a three-day official visit to Malawi.
Mutharika said he appreciates the dedication the Duke has in helping Malawi, especially in the area of wildlife protection, saying this resonates well with his vision of transforming Malawi into a tourism powerhouse in Africa.
“We will invest heavily in tourism because we have a vision of transforming Malawi, especially Mangochi, into a tourist attraction area. We want to construct tourism infrastructure there, like a five star hotel and an international airport to make it a tourist powerhouse in Africa.
“And your support in wildlife conservation in Malawi is critical to our development of tourism,” said president Mutharika.
The President said he appreciates and values the good relations the two countries (Malawi and Britain) have enjoyed for the past 100 years.
Mutharika also paid respect to the fallen British soldier who lost his life while on duty protecting wildlife in Malawi.
“This is a precious sacrifice he made and we will always treasure the contribution he made to our country,” said Mutharika.
On education, Mutharika said he appreciates the efforts Prince Harry is making to Malawi in the area.
He said his government shares the same vision as witnessed by various interventions being made like the construction of community colleges aimed at providing skills to the youth, construction of girls’ hostels in schools and a programme that aims to make sure all primary school pupils have a 100 per cent chance of attaining secondary school education.
As such, Mutharika said his government would continue with youth empowerment and encourage more youth into the agricultural sector for the development of Malawi.
“This country was built on agriculture and the early farmers are the ones who started the economic system of Malawi.
“And one important thing we want to do is encourage our university graduates to pick up farming as a profession once they leave college,” said Mutharika.
In his remarks, the Duke of Sussex extended warm tidings from Queen Elizabeth to Mutharika.
He said wildlife protection is one area that can help in job creation and boost tourism activities.
Prince Harry, therefore, said wildlife would always be one of his priority areas despite the unfortunate death of one member of Coldstream Guards Mathew Talbot who lost his life in May 2019 while conducting anti-poaching duties.
“We commit the dedication of the British Army to continue working with the local forces to ensure that your natural resources are protected,” he said while commending the Government of Malawi for what he described as remarkable strides the country has recorded in the protection of wildlife.
He also expressed commitment in helping Malawi in the area of girl child education amongst others and also expressed gratitude for having Malawi as a member of the Commonwealth.
Prince Harry later in the evening attended a reception that was hosted by the British Ambassador Holly Tett at her official residence in Lilongwe.-MANA