Malawi President Banda seeks funds for July AU summitBy REX CHIKOKO in Blantyre | Monday, April 30 2012 at 15:56
New Malawi President Joyce Banda has said the African Union summit informed her first international trip to South Africa, where she sought funding for the oft-criticised meeting her country will be hosting in July.
Critics have questioned Malawi's capacity to host the pan-African summit due to economic challenges the southern African country is facing.
During her visit to South Africa Mrs Banda negotiated a loan with President Jacob Zuma's administration with part of it meant for the preparations towards the key summit that will among other things elect a new head of its implementing arm.
She also attended the country's Freedom Day celebrations before leaving for Liberia for what she termed a courtesy call.
"My visit [to both countries] had two agendas; one was to discuss the African Union summit with African leaders and the second was to pay a courtesy call," she said.
"It is obvious why I chose to visit Liberia. I went to seek wisdom," she added of her Monrovia meeting with Africa's first female President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Mrs Banda is said to have discussed matter related to women empowerment, a topic she is said to be close to. The two governments agreed to exchange further visits on the issue but the details remain unclear.
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