Malawi voted The Economist ‘Country of the Year’

17 Dec 2020
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We are hugely excited that the very respected UK newspaper The Economist has named Malawi its ‘Country of the Year’.

This is an exciting and fitting end to 2020, a year in which Malawi has been held up, globally, as a leading example of good governance, civic activism and the rule of law.
 
The Economist writes: “This year’s prize goes to a country in southern Africa. Democracy and respect for human rights regressed in 80 countries between the start of the pandemic and September, reckons Freedom House, a think-tank. The only place where they improved was Malawi.”
 
The article concludes: “Malawi is still poor, but its people are citizens, not subjects. For reviving democracy in an authoritarian region, it is our country of the year.”
 
2020 has been the SMP’s Year of Governance Strengthening and we look forward to continuing this initiative into 2021. 
 

While, of course, neither Malawi nor its government requires any validation from a UK newspaper, we are delighted to see the achievements of our friends and partners celebrated across the world.

Since being elected, President Chakwera has had a steadfast commitment to integrity and professional effectiveness for all who hold office in Malawi.  It has been made clear that everyone, from junior civil servants to Cabinet Ministers, is being held to the highest standards of personal integrity, with those who fall short of this standard being quickly moved from office.  Excellent work is being done to reduce the powers of the executive, strengthen the judiciary, reform and strengthen the civil service, prosecute public servants implicated in corruption (80+ arrests so far) and reclaim stolen assets.
 
We are genuinely inspired by our friends and partners in Malawi.  There has been outstanding leadership in Malawi in 2020, across civic society, parliament and government.  It has been a privilege to watch the developments:
 
All of this has been achieved by Malawi.  With all due humility, we feel that Scotland and UK has much to learn from our partners at this time and we look forward to continuing to work together as friends and allies, in mutual solidarity and respect.
 
The SMP has written to the President of Malawi, wishing him and his Cabinet a very Happy Christmas, passing on the congratulations of all at the Scotland Malawi Partnership on this latest recognition, and confirming that civic Scotland will step up boldly to the three challenges he set Scotland in October.