He said, while Africa has always been viewed from a negative point of view, but the reality was that the continent was not poor as it has resources, albeit poverty among its people.
He therefore called on the European Union to invest in the human capital, if Africa was to develop.
“The case of Africa is very telling. It is important for us to invest in the human capital because much of the African situation results from lack of certain skills and the way we think,” said Mutharika.
The Malawi leader also said that although the Sub-Saharan Africa receives about 134 billion dollars each year in loans and development aid, it was depressing that about 192 billion dollars is taken out from the region back to the donors through tax evasion, climate change mitigation, and the flight of profits.
“The problem is not that aid is a bad thing. We are not out to demonise financial aid. We know that the Europe we see and admire today is also a consequence of financial aid, delivered under the Marshall Plan. So, it means we can have better aid, which would support our trade and sustainable development. And we thank European Institutions for providing more than 32 percent of all official aid to Africa, with Malawi getting about 2 percent of the European support.”
The Malawi leader then warned the EU delegates against neglecting the plight of Afica, saying as globalization deepens; the continent’s challenges would become the EU’s challenges.
“Yes, the challenges facing Africa are bound to haunt Europe sooner than ever. The fortunes of Africa are bound to benefit European people and vice versa. Poverty and unemployment in Africa become a migration problem in Europe. This is a problem nearly every European leader has to contend with.
“While you worry about migration, Africa is worried about Youth Unemployment. And here is the correlation. Age is one of the factors that influence migration. Except where there is conflict, it is the Youth who are often driven by the desire to find a better place for themselves in the world.
“Thus, both African and European leaders hold the responsibility to create conditions for economic growth and development in Africa and the world. An economically strong Africa stands to benefit both African and European people,” he said.
Coming to the case of Malawi, Mutharika said although his country has set the stage for growth, but it needed the kind of economic growth in which everyone grows, particularly youth and women.
President Peter Mutharika is in Brussels, Belgium on the invitation of the European Union (EU) to attend EDD.
EDD is held every year and brings together the development community to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
After the EDD, President Mutharika will travel to the United Kingdom (UK), where he will address the Oxford University focusing on among others the Global Access to Education, Youth and Women Empowerment.
The week-long tour of Europe will also see Mutharika signing three multimillion dollar financial agreements on top of holding high-profile bilateral meetings.