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Lilongwe (Malawi): Convegno Internazionale "Ageing in Africa: Sensitizing the Nations", organizzato dalla Comunità di Sant'Egidio e Bingu Silver Grey Foundation.


 
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Lilongwe (Malawi): International Congress "Ageing in Africa: Sensitizing the Nations"

“Ageing in Africa: Sensitizing the Nations”  is the title of the conference that will be held on 2 and 3 June at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, to give the chance to an often marginalized and ignores group of Africa citizens to be heard and listened to.

So Malawi is once again in the news but this time the focus is not food security but the elderly on a continent where the majority of people live in poverty, albeit the continent itself is wealthy: a unique conference has been organized to hear from the elderly and those with experience dealing with the elderly. 

The conference has been titled “Ageing in Africa: Sensitizing the Nations” and will be held on 2 and 3 June in Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, as a result of a meeting between Malawi’s President and the Founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio,  prof A. Riccardi in Rome in 2009.

The three main objectives of the conference are to 1) explore the multiple complex social attitudes individuals have towards the elderly in Africa, 2) learn from the European experience of caring for the elderly, and 3) sensitize the nations of Africa to the need of ensuring that the welfare of its elderly population is prioritized and that they continue to play an active role in social and economic development.

The conference is being organized by the Bingu Silvergrey Foundation (the Malawi President’s personal foundation to assist the elderly), the Malawi Ministry of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly, and the Community of Sant’Egidio, an international Catholic lay organization working in Europe and Africa with the elderly as well as with other social and health issues. 

It is the hope of the organizers that the resulting message from the conference will be that individuals and communities on this diverse continent need to take responsibility for the care of its elderly citizens.  Institutionalisation is not the answer as this more often than not results in isolation and early death and, in some cases, even abuse.   Love and care are needed and only families and communities can provide these.

Speakers include academicians, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations and administrators.  They come from Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Malawi.   The majority of participants are from Malawi of which 64 are retired persons representing every district in the country were invited to actively participate in the discussions.

PROGRAMME FOR THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “AGEING IN AFRICA: SENSITIZING THE NATIONS”
BY HIS EXCELLENCY NGWAZI PROF. BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
AND CHAIRMAN OF THE AFRICAN UNION AT SUNBIRD CAPITAL HOTEL MARQUEE


WEDNESDAY, 2ND JUNE 2010

DIRECTOR OF CEREMONY:  Joshua Kambwiri

 08:30 hrs. All arrangements are completed at Sunbird Capital Hotel, Marquee.
 09:30 hrs. All officials, Police and the Officer responsible for Presidential Standard arrive at Sunbird Capital Hotel, Marquee.
 10:00 hrs. All invited guests get seated.
 10:45 hrs. THEIR EXCELLENCIES NGWAZI PROF. BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, and Madame Callista Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, depart New State House for Sunbird Capital Hotel, Marquee.
 11:00 hrs. THEIR EXCELLENCIES NGWAZI PROF. BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, and Madame Callista Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, arrive at Sunbird Capital Hotel.

Met by:

Hon. Reen Bessie Kachere, M.P., Minister of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly;

Prof. Marco Impagliazzo, President, Community of Sant’Egidio;

Mr. Elard Alumando, Country Director, Community of Sant’Egidio;

Mrs. Frances E. Mkandawire, Executive Director, Bingu Silvergrey Foundation;

Hon. Shadreck Jonas, Member of Parliament for   Lilongwe City Centre Constituency and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture;

Mr. Kelvin M’mangisa, Chief Executive, Lilongwe City Assembly;

Mr. Charles Kalemba, District Commissioner, Lilongwe.

Mr. Oswald Bwemba, Manager, Sunbird Capital Hotel;

THEIR EXCELLENCIES NGWAZI PROF. BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, and Madame Callista Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, enter the Marquee.

Fanfare is played by Malawi Police Band.

National Anthem is played by Malawi Police Band immediately THEIR EXCELLENCIES NGWAZI PROF. BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, and Madame Callista Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, reach their seats.    

Welcome remarks by Director of Ceremony.

Prayer by Monsignor Girasoli, Apostolic     
Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia.

Drama by members of the Neno Shelter for the Elderly.

Statement by Prof. Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant’Egidio;

Statement by Mrs. Frances E. Mkandawire, Executive Director, Bingu Silvergrey Foundation;

Statement by Hon. Reen Bessie Kachere, M.P., Minister of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly, invites HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT to address the gathering.

HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT’s official opening address.

National Anthem is played by Malawi Police Band.

THEIR EXCELLENCIES NGWAZI PROF. BINGU WA MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, and Madame Callista Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, depart Sunbird Capital Hotel for New State House.

END OF PROGRAMME

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