Walking or driving in the main cities of Malawi, one would notice how these cities have changed significantly in terms of infrastructure and other aspects of development.
For the past 12 years, Malawians have witnessed the emergence of world-class infrastructure such as high-quality roads, public stadiums, five-star hotels, mentioning but a few.
These achievements, on the one hand, can be attributed to the hard efforts of Malawians. On the other, they are also due to the good relationships between Malawi and its development partners, particularly China.
The relationship between Malawi and China, forged 12 years ago, has contributed to the visionary dream of Malawi’s leaders to transform the nation into a prosperous one.
China, which established diplomatic relations with Malawi on December 28, 2007, has for the past 12 years dedicated itself to improving the development of Malawi, and other African countries in general.
During the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit held in 2018, China pledged a commitment to Africa’s development cooperation over the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrialization, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.
Projects in the bilateral agreement of Malawi and China have included those in energy, road infrastructure, and governance, among others.
For instance, since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China-Malawi economic and trade cooperation has developed rapidly and yielded fruitful results.
The Malawi Parliament Building, the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), and the Karonga-Chitipa road, which were aided by China, have been completed in succession.
Furthermore, the Bingu International Conference Center and Business Hotel, and the Bingu National Stadium, were also financed and built by the Chinese.
These projects have become the landmark buildings that the people of Malawi take pride in.
According to the Chinese embassy in Malawi, the two countries have also witnessed rapidly growing cooperation in other sectors including culture, education, sports, health, and youth, among others.
It’s hoped that Malawi’s journey to gain prosperity will be facilitated by the ever-stronger bilateral ties.
On Tuesday, the Chinese Embassy organised a colourful and mesmerising celebration of its Chinese New Year held at MUST in Thyolo where Deputy Ambassador Wang Xiusheng said this tradition fosters the continued diplomatic partnership that exists between Malawi and China.
Xiusheng said they decided to hold the event at MUST as opposed to having it in the Capital City in Lilongwe or Mzuzu as was being done in the past because MUST is a testimony of friendship between China and Malawi and carries the expectations of the people from both countries.
“The Embassy decided to bring the 2020 Happy Chinese New Year to MUST also to inspire in the young minds of the students the promotion of cultural exchanges between our two countries.
“The large population of talents here at MUST gives us a perfect opportunity to fulfill this ambition,” he said.
MUST was built with donor funding from the Chinese government and some of its students benefit for scholarships for further studies in China.
China and Malawi also has a partnership programme called ‘The Seed for the Future’, introduced by Chinese mobile phone service provider Huawei Technologies Limited in which it sends Malawian youths to China as a life changing encounter which introduces the students to the world class information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and hands on experience and skills.
The programme was introduced in 2015 and its 4th cohort had 10 Malawian ICT students who were chosen from various public universities, including MUST.
The Seed for the Future program is carried out as a human resource development partnership between Huawei and the Malawi Government.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira