The Scotland Malawi Partnership is delighted to offer Secretariat support for the UK Parliament's All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Malawi, as it does for the Malawi Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament.
The Malawi APPG exists to: promote understanding and awareness among parliamentarians; support positive relations between our countries; and provide a forum for discussion on relevant issues affecting politics, society, culture and the economy in Malawi.
The Group brings together MPs and Peers with a particular interest in UK-Malawi relations. While the Group is open to all MPs and Peers across the UK, there is a particularly large number of Scottish Parliamentarians, given the strength of the Scotland-Malawi relationship.
The cost of the SMP’s Secretariat support for the APPG is met from the Partnership’s own unrestricted funds (membership fees, donations, etc), rather than from the core grant received from the Scottish Government. The SMP remains politically neutral and independent of government, while encouraging and supporting continued all-party support for Scotland’s links with Malawi.
The Group was originally founded on the 29th November 2017, and has been formally re-constituted each Parliament since then.
The following office bearers were elected at the 10th February 2020 AGM of the Group:
Hon. President: Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, Labour
Chair & Registered Contact: Patrick Grady MP, SNP
Margaret Ferrier MP, SNP
David Mundell MP, Conservatives
Kate Osamor MP, Labour
Jim Shannon MP, DUP
Lord Steel of Aikwood, Lib Dem
Treasurer: Marion Fellows MP, SNP
Secretariat: David Hope-Jones, Scotland Malawi Partnership
PRIORITIES FOR THE GROUP:
At the Group’s February 2020 AGM, it was agreed Group’s priorities for this year would include:
- Meeting the Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly.
- Meeting with observers of the May 2019 tripartite election.
- Working with the Africa and Migration APPGs to advance the recommendations of our joint report on UK visa issuing for those visiting the UK from Africa.
- Working to support outcomes from the recent UK-Africa Investment Summit.
- Encouraging CDC to increase its sustainable and ethical investments in Malawi.
- Ensuring DFID continues or enhances its work in Malawi, and encouraging DFID to better connect with wider civic links with Malawi.
- Ensuring Malawi is well represented and supported at COP26 in Glasgow.
- Lobbying for the updating of the 1955 UK-Malawi Double Taxation Treaty.
- Supporting governance strengthening in Malawi as it likely undertakes electoral reforms and a re-run of the Presidential election in 2020.
- Supporting the re-opening of the David Livingstone Birthplace Centre in Blantyre, Scotland.
- Strengthening Parliamentary links with Malawi, with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
- Looking to engage, support and help represent the breadth of UK-Malawi civic links. Potentially hosting a parliamentary reception with the FCO and DFID.
MALAWI INDEPENDENCE DAY: JOINT MALAWI CPG-APPG MEETING
Westminster’s Malawi All-Party Parliamentary Group and Holyrood’s Malawi Cross Party Group are coming together for cross party (and cross Parliament) digital meeting, to mark Malawi Independence Day.
Monday 6th July 2020
17.30 – 18.30
Zoom (digital meeting)
Click here to book your place. There will be a limited number of public places available to facilitate maximum involvement from Parliamentarians.
The meeting will have four main agenda items:
- 23rd June Malawi Presidential Election: With key election observers and analysists in Malawi giving a briefing on the results of the 23rd June Presidential election.
- Covid-19 in Malawi: Briefings from Malawi on the impact and spread of Covid-19 in Malawi, and UK-Malawi cooperation to fight the virus.
- DFID-FCO Merger: Analysis of the possible impact of the UK Government’s decision to merge DFID with the FCO on the UK’s work with Malawi.
- Meeting with Scottish Government International Development Minister: a brief speaking slot and Q&A with Jenny Gilruth MSP
2020 Annual General Meeting, 10th February 2020
The Group had its first meeting of this new Parliament on the 10th February 2020, formally reconstituting itself at this AGM. New and returning office bearers were elected by the group and the above priorities were agreed for the Group.
Updates were given on recent and forthcoming Parliamentary visits to and from Malawi, and the SMP briefed MPs on civic Malawi links across all 59 Scottish Westminster constituencies.
Dr Fidelis Edge Kanyongolo, an internationally respected and politically neutral Malawian legal and constitutional expert, briefed the Group by teleconference from Malawi on the current political and constitutional situation in Malawi, in which the previous week’s Constitutional Court ruling annulled the May 2019 Presidential election, calling for fresh elections within 150 days.
The Group noted its solidarity with and support for Malawi -its people, government, parliament and judiciary- as it navigates these challenging times. The Group hoped there would continue to be peaceful adherence to the rule of law, as democratic and governance systems are further strengthened in the coming months and years. The Group remains alert to opportunities to work with Malawi as it continues this process, while respecting that this is primarily a domestic matter.
Meeting launching Visa Report, 16th July 2019
On Tuesday, 16th July 2019, the Malawi APPG came together with the Africa APPG and Migration APPG to launch the joint all-party report from their parliamentary inquiry into the issuing of UK visas for those visiting from Africa.
The report identified a number of serious issues in current policy and made clear recommendations for the UK Government.
At the launch of the report Patrick Grady MP, Chair of the Malawi APPG and SMP member, said:
"There has been clear evidence of inconsistent or careless decision-making and a lack of procedural fairness. All this only serves to discourage people from Africa to come to the UK. Too many now simply don't want to start the visa application process, and everyone is losing out as a result."
The launch was attended by then UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes MP, who said:
"It is good to hear when we have got it wrong as this is the best way we can learn and strengthen our systems. If this report helps us to do our job better, then I am extremely grateful for it."
Meeting with the Independent Chief Inspector of Immigration, 30th April 2019
The Malawi APPG, with the Africa and Migration APPGs, met on the 30th April.
The meeting took evidence from David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration as part of the APPGs joint-inquiry on UK visa issuing for those applying from Africa.
The Report from the joint-inquiry will be published at a second event with Minister Nokes on the 16th July 2019.
Meeting with Immigration Minister, 13th February 2019
The Malawi APPG, with the Africa and Migration APPGs, met on Wednesday 13th February in Portcullis House, Westminster, London, as part of the joint Inquiry on UK visa issues for those applying from Africa. This followed a recent adjournment debate led by Patrick Grady MP.
The meeting took evidence from Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Minister of State for Immigration, and senior officials from the UK Visas and Immigration Department.
Meeting taking evidence for Visa Inquiry, 22nd January 2019
The Malawi APPG, with the Africa and Migration APPGs, met on the 22ndJanuary, as part of the joint Inquiry on UK visa issues for those applying from Africa. The APPGs took evidence from a range of experts and the public, listening to issues experienced by those who have applied for visas from Africa.
- Iain Halliday, McGill & Co Solicitors
- Albert Tucker- Director Karma Cola Foundation, Associate at Twin Trading
- John Davis, Senior Producer the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) 2011-2018
- Insa Nolte, African Studies Association and University of Birmingham
- Matt West, Regional Director for Africa at De La Rue
It was a standing room only meeting, with dozens of organisations and senior individuals attending to share their own concerns and issues experienced
AGM, 10th December 2018
The 2018 AGM of the Malawi All-Party Parliamentary Group took place on Monday 10th December 2018 at 1pm in Room B, 1 Parliament Street.
The Group reviewed progress and impact from its first year of operation, discussed priorities for 2019-20, and re-elected office bearers.
The Group was also briefed on the recent Malawi and Scotland: Together for Sustainable Development conference and were given copies of the Conference Report.
Read the minutes of the 2018 AGM here.
Meeting with the Vice-President of Malawi, 15th October 2018
Members of the Malawi APPG were delighted to meet His Excellency, Saulos Chilima, the Vice-President of Malawi in the House of Commons on the 15th October.
It was an opportunity for the Vice-President to discuss national Malawian priorities with MPs and Peers, and to explore further inter-parliamentary cooperation.
Read more about the Malawi APPG Meeting here.
Meeting with the President of Malawi, 17th April 2018
We were delighted to welcome the President of Malawi to the latest meeting of the UK Parliament's Malawi All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Tuesday 17th April 2018.
The Group were addressed by The President who spoke warmly of the links with the UK and Scotland and our shared efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
Read more about the Malawi APPG Meeting here.
Meeting with the Chief Executive of CDC, 7th March 2018
The Group held a special video-linked joint-meeting with the Malawi Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament - the first time the two Parliaments have been joined in this way.
The meeting focused on business, trade and investment with Malawi, with Nick O’Donohoe, the Chief Executive of Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), speaking in Westminster and Bernard Kaunda, the Chief Executive of Mzuzu Coffee, speaking from Holyrood.
Click here to read more.
Inaugural meeting and AGM, 29th November 2017
MPs and Peers came together to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malawi, with its inaugural AGM on the 29th November.
It was standing room only, with strong support from all the parties.
Read about the first APPG Meeting here.
Members and supporters of the Malawi APPG include (inter alia)
Photo credit: Above photos of MPs and Peers taken from www.parliament.uk
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