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Your Excellency Madame Gertrude Mutharika, First

Lady of the Republic of Malawi

Right Honourable Dr Saulosi Chilima, Vice President

of the Republic of Malawi

Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament,

His Lordship the Chief Justice,

Honourable Cabinet Ministers,

The Moderator of ABLI - Rt. Hon Lord Paul Yaw


The CEO of the British & Foreign Bible Society - Mr

James Catford,

The Head of Ministry Resourcing of the United Bible

Societies-Mr Terje Hartberg

All protocol Observed

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen


I count it a very special privilege to be with you this

morning as we open the African Biblical Initiative (ABLI)
2015 Conference today. At the outset, let me, on behalf of
the Government and people of the Republic of Malawi,
welcome in a special way all our colleagues from across
Africa and also the United Kingdom. Please feel welcome to
Malawi. I trust you will take some time off after the
conference to visit our beautiful lake. We feel you have
never been to our country if you do not visit our lake and
sample the juicy fish called Chambo.
Ladies and gentlemen, when Lord Paul Boateng and the
Bible Society leadership visited me on 3rd February early this
year to inform me about this conference I was very pleased
and pledged that I would come and if I failed I would at
least record my message to be read here but God has made
it possible that I personally be with you today. I thank God
for this because I feel this is a very important gathering
when together we can seek to share the values that need to
inspire our conduct in the way we run the affairs of our
Nations as well as different institutions where each one of
us is a leader. I have learnt that ABLI has been hosted in
Addis Ababa in 2010 and 2011, in Kampala in 2012 and last

year 2014 in Ghana with very positive results. And that this
should now take place here in our country, I feel Malawi is
blessed because the challenges ABLI seeks to address are
very much at the root of my governments agenda and I do
believe for Africa as a whole.
Distinguished delegates
Transforming the Culture of Leadership in our continent, I
believe, is long overdue. The issues of Integrity, Healthcare
systems, Conflict Resolution and the Next Generation
matters are at the core of any leadership focus because our
people are expecting so much and we promise so much but
unfortunately we have delivered very little. I need to
hasten, though, that these issues are not only a challenge for
Africa but the world as a whole. The whole issue of the
Arab Spring, Xenophobia attacks, the refugee crisis in
Europe, the high unemployment rates in the world, and
especially for the Youth, call for a change in the way we do
business. As a matter of fact, concerning the youth and
unemployment, my government has started building
technical colleges so that we can empower the unemployed
youth with skills to generate jobs and income for

themselves. But I know this is not enough as members will

also know that our Youth constitute more than 70% of
Africas population in fact Africa is the worlds youngest
continent, as it is stated that the proportion of youth in
Africas population is higher than in any other continent.
Therefore that we can all come together and hear what the
word of God has to say on all these issues is a very
welcome development.
I trust as delegates will be interacting with one another,
under the guidance of our highly distinguished speakers and
facilitators, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel so
that we will have the light to show us the way as we
function in our different offices. My prayer is that this will
not just be another talking shop. Let us allow ourselves to
be changed by the messages we will receive. This
conference, I believe will help build the necessary networks
as we will hold one another accountable to make sure we
live by these values.
Ladies and gentlemen
I am pleased that some of my cabinet ministers, principal
secretaries and key leaders of my government will stay on

with you for the duration of this conference. I challenge all

of you to take heed of this conference so that when you
return to your desks, you will be the catalysts of the desired
change that should become the landmark of our existence.
The same is expected from the church leadership here
present. The issues of integrity, conflict resolution and
empowering young people are issues that the church should
also be addressing. Actually it should be the church that
should first live by example and challenge all of us to live
likewise. Most of us leaders come from your different
churches and so it is not an overstatement that the church
needs to nurture all of us with godly values so that we live
transformed lives that will inevitably reflect in the
transformed leadership being exemplified in the public and
private life.
As a nation, our recent Cash gate Scandal where billions
of public resources were plundered - is a very close example
of what happens when we allow the greed and unpatriotic
behaviour of a few individuals plunder the resources of a
whole nation. The conflicts around Africa, even after 50
years of our independence, reflect the effects of greed for
power, and the desire to control the limited natural

resources by a few. We are also losing a lot of young men

and women, who are fleeing our countries, seeking a better
future elsewhere. There is so much that we can do in our
respective countries to avoid the exodus of our people. We
must offer them hope for their future here in Africa.
And the list of challenges goes on and on. My prayer is that
God would use this conference and bring a change in the
World, a change in Africa, a change in Malawi and more
importantly a change in my life and your life, so that
wherever each one of us is, there will be a mark of a
changed heart, a changed culture that now desires to serve
others first and in so doing becoming a blessing to the
people we lead and they too finding their place in the
nations the Lord God has placed them in.
Mr. Moderator, I wholeheartedly endorse the ideals of
ABLI and pray this Forum becomes the means for further
discussion and espousal of the Biblical values that ABLI
stands for.
On this note, ladies and gentlemen, I wish you fruitful
deliberations at this forum and hereby declare the African
Biblical Initiative 2015 Conference officially open.

May the God bless the Bible Society of Malawi, all National
Bible Societies in Africa and the United Bible Societies
May God bless Malawi and may He bless Africa.
I thank you for your attention!