President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has saluted and applauded the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the various infrastructure development projects it has financed in Malawi.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the financing agreement for the construction of the Makanjira Road in Mangochi, President Chakwera said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has provided about US$50 million worth of concessional loans to Malawi since the two nations established their diplomatic relations.
He said the support has gone a long way in cementing the partnership between Malawi and Saudi Arabia.
“This is an historic day for Malawi and for Malawians, on whose behalf I wish to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the partnership we have, through the Saudi Fund for Development, culminating in the financing agreement we have entered today for the construction of the Makanjira Road,” he said.
Chronicling the infrastructure projects implemented with support from Saudi Arabia, Chakwera disclosed that “it was the Saudi Fund for Development that partnered with us to build a state of the art 300 bed hospital in Phalombe”.
The hospital is providing various health services to our people, including antenatal and neonatal services that were once provided at facilities “too far away”.
He also stated that it was the Saudi Fund for Development that partnered with Malawi to construct three Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) in Malawi with an annual enrolment of about 1, 200 teacher trainees.
“It was the Saudi Fund for Development that contributed to the financing of the Thyolo-Makwasa-Bangula road, which has improved connectivity for our farmers. It was the Saudi Fund for Development that supported our efforts at debt restructuring, as discussions between my officials and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia team have commenced in a win-win spirit, and we remain hopeful that through your support we will get a confirmation on debt restructuring assurances,” he went on.
But President Chakwera pointed out that it was the generous decision by the Saudi Fund for Development to accept his proposal for the construction of the Makanjira road, which he said is a gift that will keep on giving for generations to come.
“As such, it is worthy of special recognition and our Saudi partners are worthy of special thanks. This important transport infrastructure will facilitate intra country trade and regional trade, and usher in a new wave of prosperity for Malawi,” said Chakwera.