United States Agency for International development (USAID) has challenged world leaders to do more for their people as citizens everywhere still crave governments that respect their rights and are responsive to their voices.
Administrator Samantha Power made the remarks at a USAID event in support of democracies on the rise at the United Nations General Assembly 2022.
She described the event as an Inspiration Summit, filled with prospects for reform and hope noting each of the countries gathered had inspired America, President Biden, with their determination to push ahead and try to create a freer, more just, and more equal society in their own nation
Power acknowledged that a combination of patience and impatience is required, both on behalf of the leadership and the people in the countries they represent.
The USAID Administrator hailed the leaders who have repealed laws which had been designed to punish opponents, pursued cases against corrupt officials and helped return resources to their people.
She also took note of reforms which have been put in place to spur their economies and build more just societies.
“As we in the United States know so well, of course, based on our own experience, it is not enough to win elections based on promises to fight corruption and strengthen democracy; we have to deliver real results for our people. Democracy must deliver.
“That is something President Biden, Secretary Blinken, DFC head Scott Nathan, I –we stress all the time. And rather than simply promote democracy the way we always do, through election support or investments in independent media – very, very important investments, though those are – those who believe in free societies and free markets need to help your citizens, the citizens of the countries gathered here, feel the difference that democracy and reform can make in their lives day to day”.
She pledged her government’s support to help countries diversify economies or form new trade relationships, create jobs or deliver better healthcare, tackle inequality and provide reliable public services.
President Lazarus Chakwera who was one of the leaders present underscored the importance of consolidating democracy for the attainment of sustainable development, peace and security
He indicated that through democratic governance and the rule of law, Malawi is safeguarding and promoting human rights and peaceful coexistence between people.
However Chakwera noted the rule of law entails that laws must be clear and accessible to citizens.
The Malawi leader cited the passing of many laws including those promoting gender equality like the Gender equality act in public appointments.
He singled out the appointment of many women to senior public positions including 40 percent of public posts to women and 40 percent heading foreign missions.
Among them are Colleen Zamba who is heading the civil service, Martha Chizuma who heads the Anti-corruption bureau and Merlyn Yolamu the Inspector General of Police.
He noted that true freedom thrives where people have power over those they elected hence completed a constitutionally required constituency demarcation exercise to ensure Malawians have more equal access to their elected representatives for purposes of improved service and greater accountability.