President Peter Mutharika is skipping this year’s African Union (AU) summit as a way of saving money.
According to Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani, Mutharika and First Lady Gertrude Mutharika are not attending the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union summit which has started today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“I can confirm that the president is not going to the summit,” said Kalilani.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila has also missed the summit as the
Mutharika administration wants to cut frequent internal and external travels of the Head of State and cabinet ministers.
Instead, Malawi is being represented by its ambassador to Ethiopia Chimango Chirwa.
Meanwhile, social commentator Stanley Kenani has hailed Mutharika for skipping the summit saying nothing comes out of the meetings.
“It’s nice to hear that, as a cost-cutting measure, President Peter Mutharika will not be attending the African Union Heads of State summit in Addis Ababa. Frankly, nothing of substance comes out of such summits. They have been ongoing for decades, yet our continent has very little to show for it. The African Union cannot even finance itself, relying, instead, on the European Union, China and other ‘well-wishers’. He who feeds you controls you,” said Kenani in a Facebook post.
This year’s African Union is being held under the theme, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in the Youth.”
At the two-day summit, leaders will discuss continental trade, AU reforms, peace and security, funding for the AU, and youth empowerment, among other things.