Canada has granted Malawi 22,360,000 Canadian dollars (about ten million pounds sterling) to improve the country's rail network.
GV Matenje (left) and Broadbridge seated, preparing to sign documents
CU ZOOM GV Both signing
CU Malawi flags TILT DOWN TO railway poster
SCU Matenje shakes hands with Broadbridge and sits down. Matenje speaks (at 26 feet, 17.9 metres, 42 seconds)
GV PAN Goods trains and passenger trains along rails (3 shots)
MATENJE: "Well, Your Excellency, on behalf of the Government of Malawi and the people of Malawi and His Excellency the Life President, I thank your government and the people of Canada, the Prime Minister and your good self for providing this handsome loan to Malawi. And rest assured, Your Excellency, that every cent will be used for the purpose for which we said we would put his money to."
Initials BB/0300 JW/AH/BB/0311
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Canada has granted Malawi 22,360,000 Canadian dollars (about ten million pounds sterling) to improve the country's rail network.
Agreement on the loan was reached in Blantyre, Malawi, on Tuesday (12 February); on that day the final documents were signed by Canada's High Commissioner to Malawi, Mr. Arthur Broadbridge, and by Malawi's Minister of Finance Dick Matenje.
Earlier in the day Mr. Broadbridge, who is resident in Lusaka, presented his credentials to Malawi's Life President, Ngwazi Dr. Kamuzu Banda.
Malawi has some 350 miles of narrow-gauge railway. The loan (which is repayable over five years) will be used to build 75 miles (104 kilometres) of new track -- linking Salima and the nation's new capital of Lilongwe -- and to upgrade a further 86 miles (126 kilometres).
The Canadian funds are being provided by the country's International Development Agency. Just over two million Canadian dollars (about one million pounds sterling) of the total is being considered as a grant.
The Canadian funds will also be used to purchase materials and equipment from Canada including bulldozers, dump trucks, mobile cranes and tractors.
The new link between Salima and Lilongwe will boost the export of agricultural products from Lilongwe. At present these have to be carried by road to transhipment points and loaded onto rail transport for despatch to the Indian Ocean ports of Nacala and Beira. The new line will greatly reduce transport costs.
At the signing ceremony, Mr. Matenje thanked the Canadian Government for the loan.