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The U.S. Stands With Malawi

Malawi's new President Joyce Banda gives a press conference in Lilongwe. Banda said she was pinning her hopes on donors to re-open aid taps after she started talking to them on possible resumption of aid frozen over governance and macroeconomic concerns,

The United States sends its warmest and sincerest congratulations to President Joyce Banda.

A new leader has taken the reins in Malawi, where Africa’s second female President faces many challenges in reviving the country’s once-vibrant economy and addressing its social needs.

The United States sends its warmest and sincerest congratulations to President Joyce Banda on her ascendancy to the presidency. We commend Malawi on its commitment to the rule of law, and the swearing in of President Banda according to Malawi’s constitution. This demonstration of the Southern African nation’s dedication to constitutional order and the rule of law is a model to be emulated.

The United States has long had a deep friendship with the people and government of Malawi, and in this next stage of the country’s political history we look forward to strengthening that friendship even further. In a sign of the importance our country gives to our relations there, Malawi was one of five African nations visited recently by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

Malawi has faced some profound challenges in recent years, as support from the international community waned in response to some of the former president’s policies. The United States took action in some areas, but throughout the period remained a major supporter of agricultural aid programs and the fight against HIV AIDs. U.S. officials say they are very pleased with the initial messages coming out of the Banda administration with regard to the partnerships the new president hopes to restore and strengthening the nation’s governance.

Dr. Reuben Brigety is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

“We know that this is a very pivotal time in the history of Malawi and I think the people of Malawi should be assured that the United States will stand with them as they transition in this important phase. ... We hope they will continue to progress and develop in terms of the strengthening of their democracy and economy going forward.”