Malawi and Mozambique are yet to reaffirm their common borders and that is an item at on-going three-day Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation JPCC underway in Lilongwe.
Although the matter is coming at a time Malawi is also engaging neighboring Tanzania over common borders on Lake Malawi, the current discussion is in the spirit of the JPCC which meets every two years.
Malawi Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Ephraim Mganda Chiume confirmed this in an interview on Wednesday immediately after the official start of the 12th session of the JPCC meet.
“This meeting will also look into issues of our common border. Of course, the border is already demarcated. We are only to reaffirm those borders. This includes the border in the middle of Lake Malawi. The agreements were made long ago between the Portuguese and the English.
“However, the issue of our common borders is only one item of several that this meeting will also discuss such as power interconnection and mining. It is not just about the border,” Chiume said.
In an earlier interview, Mozambique Foreign Affairs and Cooperation minister Oldemiro Julio Marques Baloi said while the issue of the common borders was being handled by a special commission, it was not a serious problem at the moment and he hoped it would be addressed in a brotherly manner.
“The important thing is to address these problems. They are being dealt with and I think that sooner or later, the discussions will bear fruits,” said Marques Baloi.
In his official opening remarks, minister Chiume said Malawi hopes the JPCC would strive to achieve agreements on areas that will improve the livelihoods of citizens of the two neighboring countries.
“I am pleased to note that the two governments have made great strides in the implementation of some areas, including trade, energy, fisheries, youth and sports. However, I would like to urge our senior officials to put more energy in the implementation of the outstanding areas of cooperation such as industry, tourism, mining, housing, social welfare and agriculture,” Chiume said.
He said, for Malawi, trade and investment remain catalysts for sustainable economic growth and development and also infrastructure development and hoped that cooperation in these areas through existing bilateral preferential trade agreement should help the two countries yield the highest benefits.
Chiume said, in its quest to consolidate and capitalise on existing ties with Mozambique, Malawi plans opening consulates in Beira, Tete and Nacala not very long from now.