Chakwera presides over the signing of Malawi, US  defence partnership

By Chisomo Phiri 

President Dr.Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday presided over the signing ceremony of the defence  agreement between Malawi and the US’s National Guard Elements of the state of North Carolina at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

The agreement is part of the State Partnership Program (SPP) which, according to the US embassy in the country, has been a cornerstone of US security cooperation efforts around the world.

SSP pairs National Guard elements from the US states with partner countries to foster mutual interests, enhance global security, and build closer ties between the United States and nations worldwide.

In his speech, President Chakwera hailed the agreement, saying it will enhance cooperation for the benefit of the people in the two countries.

“Malawi has been working with the United States in a number of areas such as health, infrastructure development, disaster management, governance, diplomacy, peace and security. This partnership is important as it will extend the already existing relationship,” he said.

On his part Minister of Defence Harry Mkandawire said the partnership is not only about defence but goes beyond several sectors like agriculture and health for the benefit of the people.

He further described it as an opportunity for MDF to boost capacity building and vital equipment to strengthen defence infrastructure.

“This cooperation will provide an opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in cyber security, as well as search and rescue operation, among others. It will also enhance innovation in the realm of security and defence,” said Mkandawire.

North Carolina National Guard Adjutant General Todd Hunt said the cooperation will go a long way in teaching best practices and techniques in the military.

Since its inception in 1993, SPP has been a cornerstone of US security cooperation efforts around the world.

Malawi joins over 100 other partners with National Guard Units of all 54 American states and territories.