MAJOR ACTIVITIES IN 2019
The Malawi Embassy in Berlin facilitated Malawi Government’s participation at the 11 th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019 (GFFA 2019). The Forum took place in Berlin, Germany, from 17 th – 19 th January, 2019, with the theme “Agriculture Goes Digital -Smart Solutions for Future Farming”. The GFFA is one of the world’s largest international conferences on the future of international agricultural and food policies. It is the ideal political platform for having the best possible debates on such policies in an international context.
The Malawi Delegation to the Forum was led by Mr. Michael B. Kamphambe Nkhoma, Malawi Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany; the other members of the Delegation who came from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, were Mr. Maxwell Spencer Tsitsi, Director of Administration, Mr. Hamilton Chimala, Deputy Director of Communications (Public Relations Officer) and Mr. Wadi Chitimbe, Personal Assistant to the Minister.
The Forum is an annual event which is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. It is arranged and held alongside the International Green Week (IGW) which was founded in Berlin in 1926. The IGW is an international exhibition of the food, agriculture and gardening industries and over 80 countries participate in the event annually. The role of the partner country is to showcase its agricultural products, do stage performances from that country and give an opportunity to all the visitors to sample food from that country.
Outputs from the Forum, among others included:
a) A proposal on drone technology for Agriculture cooperatives that was to be sent to the Agriculture Commercialisation Project in Malawi, for their perusal and direction.
b) The delegation met with RIELA and discussed how the company can penetrate the Malawi market. RIELA is a family owned local company which specialises in the production and post harvest storage of crops. It manufactures farm implements and crop processing machines as well as storage facilities. RIELA confirmed willingness to invest in Malawi in demonstration farms, including crop harvesting and storage technologies, trainings and recycling technologies.
c) The delegation met with BVVG GmbH, which is a state owned agency that is responsible for the administration and privatization of farm and forest land in Germany. Aside from being involved in projects of international cooperation, BVVG also organizes various seminars and workshops on land privatization and land market development in other countries. As such, the agency was willing to help the Malawi Government in tenure and lease issues for Agriculture productivity. The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development was tasked with following up on the offer.
d) The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture expressed willingness to attend to requests from Malawi, regarding project support, in order to make appropriate interventions.
Malawi, being one of Africa’s most amazing countries because of the unique combination of landscape, national parks, the unusually friendly people and the beautiful Lake Malawi, participates in the International Tourismus Börse (ITB) every year.
In March, 2019, the Malawi Embassy in Berlin facilitated Malawi’s participation at the Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) Berlin 2019, which took place from 6 th to 10 th March, 2019. ITB is an annual International Travel Trade Show for the global Tourism industry and the largest travel show for private visitors. Each year the Fair welcomes around 10,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries and regions. As the ITB Berlin is also conceived as a Business to Business (B2B) platform, trade visitors have an opportunity to expand their contacts and do business. For all others paying a visit to ITB Berlin, the fair is a great way to discover the whole world within a few hours. Each year the organizers choose a country to be a partner country. In 2019, the official partner of ITB was Malaysia.
Malawi’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Department of Tourism) in conjunction with the private sector, participated at this year’s event. Patronage at the 2019 ITB Berlin was very high, thereby, offering an opportunity for the Malawi delegation to make a lot of progressive business.
The objective of Malawi’s participation at the 2019 ITB Berlin, as has been the case in preceding years, was:
- To increase the country’s visibility as a tourism destination in Germany and across the globe; to promote Malawi as a vibrant country and worthwhile investment destination, with great potential for growth as evidenced by the positive social and economic developments taking place in the country.
- To establish links and strengthen the existing ones with tour operators, travel agents, travel press and other travel trade specialists, and;
- To engage with top-class guests, politicians, scientists, and tourism professionals from Germany and all over the world.
Malawi’s participation at the ITB Berlin 2019 was worthwhile. The country received good patronage from European potential tourists and those across the globe. Malawian tour operators met with a substantial number of counterparts and partners and secured a lot of business opportunities. Due to this positive outcome, the country anticipated an increase in tourists visiting Malawi, especially from this part of Europe, in months and years to come.
On 19 th March, 2019, the Embassy participated in the “Africa Meets Business” event which was held at theState Representation of Saxony, in Berlin. This is an annual event organized by the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) / Christian Social Union (CDU) Parliamentary Group for African Affairs, with the aim of providing a platform for interaction between African Diplomats in Berlin and the German Business and politicians.
The event was graced by Dr. Gerd Muller, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group. Ambassadors from several African countries were present during the get-together, as well as representatives from business and political circles. Participating Embassies were provided a table to present their promotional materials and engage with business. The Malawi Embassy was able to interact with a number of German businesses interested in doing business with Malawi.
The Malawi Embassy in Berlin facilitated the participation of Malawi at the 13th German-African Energy Forum which took place in Hamburg, the Federal Republic of Germany, from 27 th to 28 th March, 2019. The Forum is organized by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft). This is an annual event, which provides a platform for the European-African energy business in Germany. The theme for 2019 was "Realising and Financing Africa's Energy Revolution" with particular focus on innovative approaches to financing off-grid projects and financing partnerships. In addition, digitization in the energy sector, renewable energy sources such as hydropower and hybrid systems, and thermal waste recycling was also discussed.
The Malawi delegation to the Forum was led by Mr. Aggrey Masi, then Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining. He was accompanied by representatives from the Ministry, the Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (EGENCO), and the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA). In addition, His Excellency Ambassador Michael B. Kamphambe Nkhoma also attended the Forum.
The objective of the Energy Forum was to link the energy leaders in Africa with the German companies and to discuss current developments of the African energy sector in relation to renewable energy development and most specificallyinnovative approaches to financing off-grid projects and financing partnerships. Speakers at the forum included high-ranking Government officials from Africa, as well as the private sector. Representatives from German companies, especially those with experience in Africa energy projects, also spoke at the forum, stimulating participants to share experiences, challenges and lessons learnt on energy development on the continent.
The Minister and the Principal Secretary for Energy were involved in panel discussions on different topics at the forum, which provided valuable interaction with participants. In addition, the Malawi delegation held meetings with a number of companies that were interested in doing business with Malawi. The companies, among others include Afrika-Verein, Allianz, El Sewedy Electrics, Siemens, and ASEA Brown Boveri (AAB).
The 2019 Forum received positive feedback from African delegations and European businesses that participated. The Forum provided a platform for interaction and consultation on issues related to energy affairs in Malawi. This was accomplished through bilateral interactions that the Malawi delegation had with interested parties. The Forum, therefore, provided a platform for Malawi to network with investors that are already in Malawi, including prospective investors, in the Energy sector. The country’s tireless efforts in improving the energy sector were highlighted by the Minister’s presence. The event was graced by Dr. Gerd Muller, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group. Ambassadors from several African countries were present during the get-together, as well as representatives from business and political circles. Participating Embassies were provided a table to present their promotional materials and engage with business. The Malawi Embassy was able to interact with a number of German businesses interested in doing business with Malawi.
The newly formed Umodzi wa aMalawi Diaspora Association held its first Malawian Diaspora Seminar in Germany. The seminar was held on 6 th July, 2019, at the Chancery, prior to Independence Anniversary Celebrations. The seminar was organized to provide an opportunity for the Malawian Diaspora in Germany to discuss their Association’s mission statement, goals and objectives, among others. Most importantly, the seminar also discussed and agreed on the Constitution that will guide all members in the operations and activities of the Association.
His Excellency the Ambassador and the Deputy Ambassador were in attendance and, therefore, took the opportunity to underscore the significance of having Diaspora Associations. He informed the seminar of Malawi Government’s tireless efforts to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between Malawi and its Diaspora, that would harness and empower the Diaspora to make significant and effective contribution to the sustainable socio-economic development of Malawi.
The Chairperson of the Association is Mr. Alexander Kambiri, who is based in Berlin. The Association has been formed under the supervision and guidance of the Embassy. This has been a step in the right direction towards having a vibrant Diaspora Association here in Germany, in line with the Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy.
The Embassy also joined all Malawians in the celebrations marking the 55th Anniversary of Independence for the Republic of Malawi, which took place at the Malawi Embassy in Berlin on the same day. The celebrations were organized by Malawians in Germany in collaboration with the Embassy.
The Malawi Embassy in Berlin facilitated Malawi’s participation at the first ever German-African ICT Forum which took place in Berlin, Germany, on 19 th September, 2019. Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft (the German-African Business Association), in collaboration with Afrolynk Conference, organized the event. Hon. Mark Botomani, M.P., Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, together with H.E Mr. Michael B. Kamphambe Nkhoma, attended the Forum.
The ICT Forum aimed to provide a platform for established companies and invited partners as well as young entrepreneurs and representatives from Africa, to network and exchange ideas. It discussed a wide range of topics including geographic information (geoinformation) applications, women in digital power, private and public sector cooperation, satellites and ICT solutions for creative industries. In addition, workshops were held which focused on emerging opportunities in satellite technology in Africa, along with a start-up pitch competition, with the winning team (from Egypt) chosen by a jury of well-known companies from the tech sector.
Hon. M. Botomani, M.P., was a panelist at a high level discussion during the Forum, together with Hon. Ms. Kamissa Camara, Minister of Digital Economy and Planning in Mali. The Minister informed that Malawi recognizes the role that ICTs play in spurring economic growth. As such the blue print, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III has included ICT amongst 5 key priority areas. This is promising because ICTs are cross-cutting accelerator to economic growth, overall poverty reduction and sustainable development. The Political will of the Malawi Government to assimilate the use of ICT in service delivery is fundamental in ensuring that we reach our vision of “A Transformed Government with efficient and accountable administration, which provides seamless Governance by making Public Services convenient and accessible, resulting in social-economic growth of Malawi”
The Minister then pointed out that the country has some challenges towards achieving sustainable digitalization. These include inadequate infrastructure, limited specialization in specific ICT issues, training and mentorship, lack of incentives and start-up capital, and limited availability of ICT systems to ease service delivery in many day to day operations in various fields. He added that sustainable digitalization has the potential to achieve the following: bring equality in many fields, can be cost saving and convenient, very easy way to disseminate information, and provide access to financial services. He, therefore, called on German partners at the Forum to consider assisting Malawi to curb the above mentioned challenges, in order for the advancement of ICT to take its course.
Following Malawi Government’s appointment of Mr. Miroslav Sirs as its Honorary Consul in the Czech Republic, and the subsequent approval by the Czech Government, His Excellency Mr. Michael Kamphambe Nkhoma, Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to the Czech Republic with residence in Berlin, Germany, presided over the installation of the new Honorary Consul on 29 th July, 2019.
The ceremony took place in the City of Frantiskovy Lazne, where his Headquarters is based. His office is situated in the area of Cheb in the City. Also present at the Ceremony was the Mayor of the City, Mr. Jan Kuchai
The new Honorary Consul pledged to focus on activities related to the promotion of trade, and more so, to woo more citizens of the Czech Republic to include Malawi as their preferred tourism destination.
During the visit, His Excellency the Ambassador and his team paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in Prague, where they met with Dr. Radek Nedved, Head of Africa Department and Dr. Jaroslav Olsa, Former Czech Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Discussions centered on the promotion of Agriculture through irrigation, and enhancing Tourism and Trade between the two countries.
The team also met with the Managing Director of SEKO AEROSPACE AND POWER, one of the biggest companies in the world that manufactures turbines. Discussions centered on the possibility of Malawi procuring modern and reasonably priced turbines from SEKO to improve the Hydro-electric power generation in the country.
THE 164TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DES EXPOSITIONS (BIE)
H.E. Michael Kamphambe Nkhoma represented Malawi at the 164 th General Assembly of the BIE where, among other issues, members elected Japan to host the World Expo 2025. The expo will take place in Osaka, under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.
World EXPOs, known officially as International Registered Exhibitions, are organised every five years. They can last up to six months and international participants can build their own pavilions on the EXPO site to showcase the activities and traditions of their countries. The themes of the World EXPOs are designed to raise awareness of, and find responses to universal challenges of our time.
Malawi supported and indeed voted for Japan’s candidature. To this end, the Japanese participants at the General Assembly expressed gratitude to the Malawi Government for the support rendered to them and in that connection, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry sent an official letter of gratitude to the Malawi government.