Former Malawi President Malawi Joyce Banda has urged United States government to make trade deals with African countries.
Banda was speaking during a lecture at Kansas State University campus on Monday.
She said what African countries need are trade deals with the United States and not aid.
What Africa needs is trade, I say this not saying shut out and don’t give aid. But if we want to make an impact, we must create sustainable employment opportunities for the 50 percent unemployed college graduates across Africa so they will not swim across the Mediterranean to go looking for opportunities in Europe.”
She added that there is also plenty the United States can learn from Africa including herself.
Banda however questioned why a democratic country like the United States of America has never elected a female president.
“The biggest question I have is, how can the United States of America, being a democracy for more than 200 years, not elect a single female president?” she asked.
The former president then urged the United States government to continue working with African countries in advocating for gender equality.
“My goal is to ensure that all of you today will see that it is our great task to promote gender equality and development around the world,” said Banda.
She added that the US government’s investment in the development of African nations has helped expand the programs that help women.
Banda also thanked Kansas State President Richard Myers, a retired US Military General, for his involvement in securing Banda’s succession to the presidency of Malawi after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
She said when Mutharika died, pressure built among some to not allow Banda to become president, in spite of the country’s constitution.