Joyce Banda, president of Malawi auctions off her private jet to help her nation’s poor

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By Victor Trammell

In a world filled with national leaders who stifle their citizens’ rights, abuse their authority, and squander their nation’s money, it is good to be able to see a case contrary to the norm.

Joyce Banda (pictured) is the president of the African nation of Malawi. She is only the second woman to become president of an African nation. Banda succeeded Bingu wa Mutharika, who experienced a sudden death in April of 2012.

President Banda inherited the leadership of a nation with an economy that was in peril. Banda began a mission of stabilizing the nation’s economic strain. President Banda started with herself. This past October, she decreased her yearly salary by 30 percent. Banda now makes around $42,000 a year as Malawi’s president. She told the Business Day Live:

It is a very low salary but most Malawians are getting just as little as that. So that’s fine. We have a nation to build. Perhaps the next president will get better than that.” (Business Day Live)

In addition to cutting her salary, President Banda also refused the services of the presidential jet that was bought by the nation under her predecessor. Banda has never even entered the 14-seat luxury aircraft. She is currently organizing an auction of the jet, which was worth $13.3 million in 2008. President Banda intends to use the funds gained from the auction of the presidential jet to assist the country’s poor and disenfranchised.

President Joyce Banda has lived a life dedicated to assisting the poor. She is also the director of her own non-profit organization that educates orphans and helps women start their own businesses.

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