Rwandan President Paul Kagame will visit Malawi today to hold bilateral talks with President Lazarus Chakwera. Since coming to power
Rwandan President Paul Kagame will visit Malawi today to hold bilateral talks with President Lazarus Chakwera.
Since coming to power in June, Chakwera has pledged to develop Malawi via stronger regional partnerships, including with Rwanda. To do so, he will likely enlist the help of Kagame, who has presided over Rwanda’s economic revival since 2000. Kagame’s model, which includes a private sector expansion and a clampdown on government corruption (as well as repression of critics), has attracted attention from neighbouring African nations for years.
While several factors—including institutional corruption and high poverty due to a heavy dependence on agricultural output—will likely preclude a replication of Kagame’s development strategy in Malawi, trade ties with export-strong Rwanda could allow Malawi to strengthen its industrial sector. Chakwera may also draw from Kagame’s experience in post-genocide Rwanda, specifically his navigation of deep ethnic and regional fault lines, and develop a coalition structure like that of the Tonse Alliance.
Expect immediate cooperation to be manifested in the extradition of the dozens of indicted Rwandan genocide perpetrators who had been living in Malawi under false identities. While one perpetrator, Vincent Murekezi, was successfully extradited to Rwanda in 2019, Kagame will likely push for further extraditions to strengthen diplomatic ties.
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