BLANTYRE—After clocking 100 days in office, Pres Joyce Banda on Friday looked at the journey that has taken her to the present position.
The first part of the celebrations took place at Comesa Hall in Blantyre under the theme ‘Unity, Equity and Development, a better Malawi is possible by looking at her initiatives before attaining presidency’.
“I see the grace of God in me because he has done wonders in my life. I believe that if we could all do something about the less privileged, the country would progress tremendously,” Banda said in her brief statement.
In her remarks, Njoki Wainaina, the president’s friend from Kenya said on 27 June, friends of the president met and celebrated her ascendance to power by praying for her.
“We celebrated a giant woman of Africa. Joyce Banda is not an ordinary woman,” said Wainaina who thanked God for taking Banda through a “difficult” journey which she believes helped to prepare her for leadership.
“Malawi is in good hands because God already prepared her for today’s role,” she said.
She also thanked the First Gentleman, Retired Chief Justice Richard Banda for his support to the president.
“Richard is a man who is not afraid of women empowerment. Men should not be afraid of women because we will always honor you,” Wainaina said.
In 1990, Joyce Banda established the National Association of Business Women (NABW) to uplift the socio-economic status of women in Malawi and currently has 20 thousand members.
The Hunger Project was also established by her in 1999 to eradicate hunger and is currently in 6 districts in the central and southern region where it has successfully established rural growth centres.
Apart from the Joyce Banda Foundation which is a private school, she also has Joyce Banda Foundation International that supports Market Movement Initiative (Mwai) and Youth Movement for Development (YOMODE) which have membership of over 100 thousand and 700 thousand respectively.
The foundation also promotes education by providing free secondary schooling to 2, 500 students and recently granted scholarships to 200 university students.
In 2001, the president started the African American Business Women Alliance to boost trade between the two continents.
The event on Friday was graced by statements and performances by all the groups the president is associated with and she presented a cheque of K3.1 million to 31 groups of MWAI and 40 thousand chicks to be distributed to women groups.
Banda was inaugurated President of the Republic of Malawi on 7 April, 2012 following the sudden demise of Pres Bingu wa Mutharika after a heart attack. She is Malawi’s first and Africa’s second female head of state.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.