Zimbabwe and Malawi 10th Session of JPCC Concludes AfCFTA’s 2021 Operations to Maximize Economic Opportunities
By Nevson Mpofu
Governments of two SADC countries Zimbabwe and Malawi this week from 7th to 9th of December held the 10th [Tenth] Session of the Joint Permanent Commission on Co-operation [JPCC] in Harare.
Ambassador Dr Nancy Saungweme Zimbabwe’s Diplomat to Malawi led the conscript of plenipotentiary delegation from Malawi to Zimbabwe in the company of Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Malawi Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka . Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Sibusiso Moyo together with the Malawi Minister co-chaired the JPCC.
The two countries reviewed state of bilateral relations between the two countries dating back from the time of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland now Zimbabwe and Malawi respectively. They also exchanged views on wide range of regional, continental and international issues of common interest.
Talking to Pan-African Visions Ambassador Nancy Saungweme who took the active role with delegates collaboration pointed out that good relations between the two countries have always been there and shall always go on the smart way.
‘’ Relations between Zimbabwe and Malawi dates back to days of Federation in the 1950s . This leads the two to exchange of views at regional, continental and International levels. The importance of the JPCC is that it is a central platform to give strategic direction to the relations between two countries’’ .
‘’This is for the benefit of our people as countries in SADC. In this regard I welcome the memorandum of Understanding [MoU] on promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises Development’’.
Two countries highlighted the importance of [MoUs] in cementing tight and strong relations between the two countries. These are crucial in the political, economic, social and public security areas.
The two presidents of Zimbabwe and Malawi called for strengthening of co-operation in Trade, Agriculture, Mining and Information Communication Technologies. This was during Lazarus Chakwera’s official visit to Zimbabwe on 1 October 2020.
Ambassador Saungweme points out as well that the importance of the private sector has been talked of in promoting trade and investments between two countries. ZIMTRADE of Zimbabwe and Malawi Investment Trade Centre have cordial relations.
‘’Because of good relations of the countries themselves, its people and ZIMTRADE and Malawi Investment and Trade Centre we encourage private sector business of the two countries to establish a Business Forum’’
‘’This is a vehicle for facilitating trade and investment cooperation among private sector organizations. Besides covid-19 we strive to move on, our goods and people to move well across borders.
Honourable Nduwa Mkaka reaffirmed Malawi’s unwavering commitment in supporting the call for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by western countries. He congratulated Zimbabwe on successfully steering the work of the SADC organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation At the same time Minister Sibusiso Moyo congratulated Malawi for peaceful elections on 23th June this year.
‘’ We express commitment to economic integration. Economic opportunities that will arise from the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA] will push us towards economic growth and development. The two countries must maximize opportunities once AfCFTA becomes operational by January 2021. I extend an invitation to my counterpart Sibusiso Moyo to the Eleventh session of JPCC to be held in Malawi in 2022’’.
The gathering comprised of top of the profession art delegates in Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Trade, Investment, Commerce and from Ministries of the two countries. JPCC is held bi-annually. The 11th one will be held in Malawi in 2022 as noted above.