1000 Partnerships: Party leaders celebrate Malawi links in every constituency in Scotland

08 September 2016

A new report launched today reveals the scale of Malawi links which now exist in every Holyrood constituency and region

We’re delighted to announce we’ve hit 1,000 Scotland Malawi Partnership members!

That’s 1,000 Scottish schools, churches, charities, businesses, key individuals, universities and community groups, the length and breadth of the country, each with their own inspiring Malawi partnership.

We welcomed our 1,000th member in style, with the leaders of Scotland’s five major political parties, launching a special report showing how our members are spread across every single constituency in the Scottish Parliament.

View the report here: www.tinyurl.com/HolyroodMalawi

Each of the four opposition leaders –Ruth Davidson (Cons), Kezia Dugdale (Lab), Willie Rennie (Lib Dems) and Patrick Harvie (Greens)- joined Scotland’s International Development Minister, Dr Alasdair Allan, to launch the report. Outside the Scottish Parliament they each met with SMP members and friends from the Malawian diaspora in their own constituency, and even got dressed in Malawian shirts and chitenjes!

The University of Edinburgh estimates that there are over 94,000 Scots involved in links with Malawi. This is a bilateral friendship which started 157 years ago, with the travels of Scottish explorer Dr David Livingstone.

These civic links benefit more than 300,000 Scots and 4 million Malawians a year. 46% of Scots, almost half the country, can name a friend or family engaged in a civic link with Malawi, making this one of the world’s strongest north-south people-to-people relationships.

Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for International Development & Europe

Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister

“I am very proud of the links that exist between Scotland and Malawi and want these to be strengthened still further.

“As First Minister I was honoured to host His Excellency Mr Kena Mphonda, the Malawian High Commissioner, in November last year to celebrate 10 years of governmental links, links which were forged in the over 150 years that the people of Scotland and Malawi have worked closely together to help alleviate poverty.

“This report, produced by the Scottish Government-funded Scotland Malawi Partnership, shows the depth of the enduring relationship we enjoy, with links to Malawi from communities in every part of Scotland.”

Ruth Davidson MSP

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party

“I am delighted to welcome the publication of this report.

“The links between Scotland and Malawi are deep, enduring and worthy of celebration.

“This report stands as a testimony to that – highlighting the civic partnerships which exist across each Holyrood constituency and region.

“At heart, this is about friendship. Not just between governments, but between two peoples. Each year thousands of Scots and Malawians stand side-by-side and work together to achieve common goals.

“We should be proud of these bonds and I congratulate the Scotland Malawi Partnership for everything they do to further this cause.”

Kezia Dugdale MSP

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party

“Scotland’s strong relationship with Malawi has continued to grow over the past two centuries and I am delighted to support the Scotland Malawi Partnership and everyone involved with the organisation.

“I would like to congratulate them on their new report celebrating the fact that there are now community-to-community links with the Malawi in every single constituency in Scotland.”

“The increasing number of Scots actively involved in links with Malawi through our schools and universities through to charities, hospitals and local businesses shows the kindness at the heart of the Scottish character.

“They should all be incredibly proud in creating one of the strongest bilateral relationships in the world. I look forward to working alongside you all as that relationship continues to grow.”

Willie Rennie MSP

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party

"It is truly impressive that over one thousand Scottish organisations and key individuals have active links with Malawi.

“Through education, communication and engagement we are forging a lasting relationship with this fascinating and creative country at the heart of Africa.

“Together Scotland and Malawi can grow and prosper together. I am particularly pleased to see the deep links with schools in my constituency including my old primary school of Strathmiglo."

Patrick Harvie MSP

Co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party

“I am delighted to see Scotland’s long-standing friendship with Malawi continue to grow from strength to strength. More and more communities the length and breadth of Scotland are now involved in the people-to-people partnerships.

“As this report highlights, almost every section of Scottish civic life is now involved with Malawi in some way, with record numbers of community groups, schools, universities and hospitals actively engaged.

“This represents the best of Scottish internationalism, which will contribute to sustainable development and to global challenges such as equality and human rights. I congratulate the Scotland Malawi Partnership for its work coordinating these many civic links and look forward to continuing to work closely with the network.”