July 13, 2012
President Joyce Banda
Embassy of the Republic of Malawi
2408 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington D.C. 20008
Dear Madam President Banda:
Though we were back in our congressional districts during your first visit as President of Malawi to the United States and Washington, DC, we heard so many good reports from the various meetings and events you attended. We applaud the progress you have made in a very short period of time, and we congratulate you on your many achievements as you and your countrymen mark your first 100 days in office.
We note with great admiration the long list of accomplishments in that short time period:
- Your getting Malawi’s financial situation improved to the point that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), previously spurned by your predecessor, has now given a positive assessment on the direction you are taking the country.
- Your work with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which has now lifted the suspension on investment in Malawi and approved more than $300 million, largely directed at rehabilitating the power sector.
- Your convincing USAID to pledge more support for Malawi, particularly in the form of public-private sector partnerships with a focus on food security and agriculture.
- Your outreach to the private sector and, especially impressive to us, the many meetings you had while in the US with American companies in the power and agriculture sectors.
- Your firm commitment to democracy, reflected in your strong support for eliminating previous Malawi government restrictions on important rights and freedoms.
- Your strong stance against Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, to the point of stating that he would not be welcome in Malawi if the African Union Summit were held there.
- Your particular focus on women, especially young women, and your pledge to focus on providing opportunities for them in the public and private sectors.
We realize it is still very early in your term and understand the immense challenges and obstacles in your path. But on this 100-day commemoration, we congratulate you on a wonderful first chapter and look forward to working closely with you and your government in the days ahead.
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Chris Van Hollen