By Moses Nyirenda MANA

Some government officials, including those from city councils, are participating in the workshop dubbed ‘Strong Cities Meeting’ which is underway in South Africa.

The meeting aims at analysing the role of cities in East and Southern Africa (ESA) in preventing and responding to hate-and extremist-motivated violence as part of wider city-led efforts to promote public safety, build resilience and enhance social cohesion.

The workshop is being hosted by the Strong Cities Network in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

Leading the Malawi delegation is the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Unity & Culture, Owen Chomanika, as well as Malawi Local Government Association (Malga) Executive Director, Hadrod Zeru Mkandawire.

In an interview with the local media in South Africa, Chomanika said his ministry wishes to build strong cities in the country.

Chomanika further hailed the participation of Malawi at the strong cities conference, saying the meeting would enlighten officials from country’s councils and his ministry on how they would fulfill the dream of building up strong cities in the country.

Also commenting on the same Lilongwe City Council Chief Public Relations Officer, who is also attending the meeting, Tamara Chafunya, said that the meeting provides an opportunity for city-level and other relevant stakeholders in the East and Southern Africa region to engage with each other in order to better understand the hate- and extremist-related threats facing local communities in the region.

The workshop is being funded by the European Union and is expected to close today.

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