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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Minister blames UDF for lack of industry
BY MAXWELL NG’AMBI
11:34:31 - 07 December 2005

Minister of Science and Technology, Khumbo Chirwa says Malawi has not made strides in industrial development because the United Democratic Front (UDF) regime stopped subscribing to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) for the
10 years it was in power.

Chirwa made the remarks at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on arrival from a Unido conference in Vienna, Austria.

According to Chirwa, Malawi missed out for the past 10 years because Unido funds industrial development in poor countries.

He cited a pilot project in Salima where Unido has just released $1.5 million for the development of agriculture by using modern tools.

“Unido neglected Malawi because we were not subscribing but when this present government got in power, we wrote them and have since subscribed. This explains why I was invited to the conference,” he said.

He announced that Malawi is in arrears with Unido to the tune of K5 million and government would remit the balance in the next financial year.

UDF interim spokesperson, Sam Mpasu yesterday accepted that the UDF did not honour Unido subscriptions.

“We did not only fail to subscribe to Unido but also other international organisations because we had no foreign currency which is needed for international subscriptions. The UDF government instead used the little foreign reserves for important imports only,” he argued.

Chirwa said the conference looked at how poor countries could use modern technology in improving farming.

He also disclosed that under the Unido programme, Bunda College of Agriculture through its aquaculture department, would receive funding.

-Story by The Daily Times

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