Lilongwe, First Lady Madame Professor Gertrude Mutharika said she was delighted to host Maesaiah Thabane First Lady of the kingdom Republic of Lesotho in the country on her historical visit.
She said the visit was a sign of strong bilateral relations between Malawi and the Kingdom of Lesotho, commending the warm friendship that exists between the people of the two countries.
Madame Professor Mutharika was speaking Sunday during a dinner she hosted for the visiting Lesotho First Lady at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
She added that she had learnt with pleasure that there are some beauty similarities between Lesotho and Malawi.
It is with little wonder that Lesotho is also known as The kingdom in the Sky because of the beautiful mountains with breath-taking serenity.
The green environment that engulfs the city of Maseru reminds me of our duty to also keep Malawi clean and green. As a matter of fact, Lesotho is a model county in as far as cleanliness is concerned.
Through this visit, we will learn more about how you are providing leadership to address environmental challenges in your country, she said.
Madame Mutharika said she appreciated the support received from Lesotho towards her initiative to make Malawi beautiful under the Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) noting that people are encouraged to keep their surroundings clean.
They do this in the belief that a clean and green Malawi would attract more visitors, tourists and investors bearing in mind that a clean Malawi also guarantees healthy lives, she explained.
Madame Mutharika told the visiting First Lady that BEAM also focuses on increasing girls’ access to education.
We have embarked on a campaign to end child marriages and take girls back to school. Traditional leaders are in the forefront working hard to rescue girls and take them back to class, Mutharika said.
Both First Ladies are members of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and Aids (OAFLA) and Malawi has taken extra steps to maintain the OAFLA agenda under the theme Harnessing the demographic dividend through Youth friendly health services.
We are engaging youths across the country where we interact and share lessons as well as experiences on sexual reproductive health. We focus on health rights because the youths form the basis of a healthy population and a productive nation, she explained.
Said Mutharika: We need to increase interaction between our peoples to share ideas so that we can map strategies and find common solutions on common challenges such as the adverse effects of climate change, trade and HIV and Aids among several others.
The Malawi First Lady also touched on efforts to curb the spread of cervical cancer through increased awareness on the need for early cancer screening.
This is because cervical cancer is increasingly becoming a challenge to most Malawian women, said Madame Mutharika.
In her remarks, the First Lady of Lesotho, Maesaiah Thabane said her visit would help cement the cordial relationship that exists between the two nations.
Thabane said during the visit the two First Ladies would share some moments and reflections on how they could join hands in helping their husbands in their leadership roles.
She recalled that when she was growing up as a young girl in her childhood, Lesotho and Malawi used to share many things between them such as food and other commodities when one of the countries needed assistance.
Madame Mutharika and Maesaiah Thabane are scheduled to visit several projects in Mchinji and Dedza districts.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA