We were honoured to welcome the President of Malawi to Edinburgh to pay tribute to the strong civic-society links between Scotland and Malawi.
The friendship between Scots and Malawians began in 1859, with the warm welcome extended to Dr David Livingstone and his companions when he entered what is now Malawi for the first time. The Church of Scotland has had a strong influence in Malawi ever since.
The President of Malawi was himself born in a Church of Scotland hospital in Malawi and attended a Church of Scotland school. Like many Malawians he has a strong personal tie to Scotland.
Around 160 Scots with links to Malawi, including school children, NGOs and members of the Malawian diaspora, attended this special civic event with the President in central Edinburgh.
The event also launched a new report from the University of Edinburgh showing more Scots than ever before have active links with Malawi.
The report states there are now 109,000 Scots actively involved with Malawi links (an increase of 16% since 2014). It finds that Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) members now contribute more than £49 million in financial and in-kind inputs to their Malawi links (an increase of 24% since 2014).
In celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People, 60 young people representing school partnerships across Scotland attended the event, and the event ended with a young Malawian (Josephine Mpango) and a young Scot (Nicola Goldmann) giving their vision for the future of Scotland-Malawi cooperation.
During the event members of the SMP presented case studies of Scotland-Malawi cooperation across the five strands of Malawi’s new Growth and Development Strategy III which was launched by the President earlier this year.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:
“Scotland and Malawi have long-standing ties of friendship and shared history, and it is our pleasure to welcome the President and First Lady to Scotland.
“The engagement with and between civil society in both our countries has been a key factor in the breadth and depth of our relationship, and I am delighted therefore that this has been included as part of the visit programme.
“It is particularly fitting that today’s event was focussed on youth, as we celebrate Year of Young People in Scotland in 2018.”
David Hope-Jones, Chief Executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership said:
“We are delighted to welcome the President to Malawi and show him first-hand the energy, expertise and enthusiasm in Scotland’s friendship with Malawi. It is wonderful to see this latest University of Edinburgh report confirming that more Scots than ever before are engaged in a Malawi link.
“This is a dignified two-way partnership, defined by partnership and not one-way charity. We continue to be inspired by the impact this nation-to-nation and people-to-people partnership continues to have.”
Have a look below at the special book we presented to the President of Malawi featuring case studies from the SMP membership: