Malawi Vice President, Everton Herbert Chimulirenji arrived in Yokohama, Japan on Tuesday morning to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7).
Chimulirenji will represent President Peter Mutharika at the conference which will be held from August 28 to 30, 2019.
The vice president arrived in Japan with his spouse, Judith Chimulirenji, through Narita International Airport, Tokyo at around 08:00, local time, and he was welcomed by Malawi Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila, and Malawi’s Ambassador to Japan Grenenger Msulira Banda, among other Malawi government officials.
Chimulirenji then proceeded to The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu just next to the TICAD7 venue, Pacifico Yokohama, where he was welcomed by Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Salim Bagus, Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Juma, and Malawi Deputy Ambassador to Japan Bentley Namasasu, among others.
Among other projects, during the TICAD7 Malawi looks forward to putting on the cards the upgrading of the Chileka airport to international standards and the construction of the Mtayamoyo Bridge in Chilomo, Nsanje, according to Kasaila.
“If resources can be made available under TICAD7 we are going to push for inclusion of master plan for Chileka International Airport to be upgraded to the standards that it can accommodate more international planes,” he explained.
Kasaila added: “We are going to push for other infrastructural projects including the famous Mtayamoyo Bridge in Chilomo, Nsanje. We believe that the Japanese have had studies at that place and we believe that this time we can have funding for the project.”
The Minister said they would seek support from the Japanese in disaster management given how Malawi continues to suffer natural disasters year in year out.
The Malawi delegation at TICAD7 is expected to review the projects approved in TICAD 6 in 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the Minister.
The projects that were approved for funding in TICAD6 include the dual carriage way from Malawi Police Service C Company near Lilongwe CCAP Church through Lilongwe Old Town to Mchinji Round About, and the upgrading of Domasi Teachers’ Training College.
“We hope that resources for these and other projects which were approved will be made available this time for them to take off,” he explained.
The Vice President is scheduled to hold a number of side meetings with various high level dignitaries between Wednesday and Friday before attending the Japan-Malawi Forum scheduled for Friday, August 30, according to the tentative programme.
The high level dignitaries, Chimulirenji is scheduled to meet include the Japanese Prime Minister, Shizo Abe; Executive Director for Global Fund, Peter Sands; Executive Senior Vice President for the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kazihuko Koshikawa and Chairperson for Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa.
Malawi, which has a pavilion at the TICAD7, has a delegation drawn from a number of sectors among them trade and industry, transport and public infrastructure, reserve bank, agriculture, irrigation and water management and the private sector.
The 2019 TICAD7 is being held under the theme: ‘Advancing Africa’s Development through People, Technology and Innovation.’
By Kondwani Magombo – Mana