30 April 2012
South Africa has agreed to extend a loan of US$35-million to the government of Malawi to help with the availability of fuel in that country, following a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and new Malawian President Joyce Banda.
The loan will be made in three installments, with the first, of $10-million, having been paid on 24 April.
South African has also committed to giving Malawi logistical assistance when it hosts the next African Union summit in July.
Banda met Zuma in Pretoria on Friday during her first official visit to South Africa following her inauguration earlier this month.
Zuma commended Banda and the people of Malawi for the peaceful transfer of power following the passing of Banda’s predecessor, President Bingu wa Mutharika, on April 5
Banda used the opportunity to brief Zuma about the socio-economic challenges facing Malawi, especially in the form of fuel and forex reserve shortages.
“Both Zuma and Banda reiterated their commitment to … enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries, as well as increasing trade and investment,” the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said in a statement on the weekend.
“In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.”
The two presidents expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which is conducted within the framework of a joint permanent commission for cooperation.
The next session of the commission will be held in South Africa in June, the department said.