Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the final day of his two-day working visit to the 'rainbow nation'.
Chakwera arrived in South Africa on Thursday through Waterkloof Military Airbase in Pretoria and held bilateral talks with his South African counterpart before signing the agreement.
The Malawi leader said he is grateful to Ramaphosa for hosting him in Pretoria and called for South Africa's support as he starts his duties as SADC chair next year.
"During our bilateral talks, we agreed to enhance our cooperation in various fields of development including trade, health, migration and labour for the mutual benefits of our people.
"This has been cemented by the signing of memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation we have just witnessed. It is my hope that in future we will sign several MOU's that strengthen our cooperation through framework of the joint commission of this cooperation," said Chakwera.
On his part, Ramaphosa said: "We have just welcomed the signing of economic cooperation agreement and further agreed to work together to identify specific areas, which South Africa and Malawi through their companies continues to do business.
"We also endeavored to put more emphasis on people-to-people cooperation between our two countries given that we are one people and our people have been travelling between our two countries for generations."
The South African leader said the cooperation need to be advanced in areas such as culture, sports and recreation in an effort to bring the people of the two countries closer.
"We reviewed the state of peace and security in Africa, specifically Southern Africa and noted the need to collaborate efforts at addressing issues of peace and security in our region," he added.
Chakwera who flew on a chartered Malawian Airlines plane returns home.
His delegation included Cabinet ministers Eisenhower Mkaka (Foreign Affairs), Patricia Kaliati (Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare), Richard Chimwendo Banda (Homeland Security), Khumbize Chiponda (Health), Sosten Gwengwe (Trade) and Ken Kandodo (Labour).
Some of the ministers visited about 100 Malawians in detention at Lindera Repatriation Centre.
The trip to South Africa is the fifth for Chakwera since becoming Malawi's sixth President following his triumph in the court-ordered Fresh Presidential Election on June 23, 2020. To date, he has visited Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.