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USTDA PROMOTES RESTRUCTURING OF MALAWI'S CIVIL AVIATION SECTOR

LILONGWE, MALAWI (September 27, 2007) – Establishing the legal and regulatory framework to support an autonomous civil aviation authority with adequate institutional capabilities to enforce international safety and security standards is the focus of a USTDA grant to Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works. The grant reflects the commitment of President George W. Bush to Africa's development under the African Global Competitiveness Initiative (AGCI), which seeks to integrate African economies and to strengthen their capacity to take advantage of trade opportunities afforded by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

An agreement was signed to confer the $460,000 grant. The Honorable Alan Eastham, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, and The Honorable Henry Mussa, Minister of Transport and Public Works, signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Malawi governments, respectively.

The Government of Malawi has prioritized the establishment of well-organized transportation systems as a means of integrating the landlocked country into the southern Africa region. After a decline in the number of airlines servicing the country, as well as passenger and cargo traffic, the Government is committed to commercializing airport services and promoting the involvement of strategic partners from the private sector in the development of the aviation sector.

To this end, the Government has concluded that the creation of an autonomous civil aviation authority is essential to enable the aviation sector to comply with international safety and security standards, and to ensure adequate levels of service to promote economic growth. The USTDA grant will further this objective by funding technical assistance to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works in restructuring the Department of Civil Aviation and developing an implementation plan focused on maximizing operations at the new autonomous entity.

The AGCI, which was announced by President Bush in 2005, furthers the economic development goals of AGOA by emphasizing the expansion of Africa's trade capacity. AGOA provides beneficiary countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with preferential access to the U.S. market.

The opportunity to assist the Ministry under the USTDA grant will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. The Ministry will select the U.S. firm that will provide the assistance.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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