Good governance is pivotal for the strengthening of an economy, the empowerment of citizens and the accountability of government. Poor governance is readily associated with corruption, economic decline and unrest in civil society.

Good governance is vital whether you’re a government, NGO, community group or individual.

In the original Cooperation Agreement, signed by the Scottish and Malawian governments in 2005, governance was identified as one of the four key priority strands for Scotland-Malawi linking. This continued in the updated 2018 ‘Global Goals Partnership Agreement’ and remains crucial today.

The President of Malawi used his speech at the 2020 SMP AGM to share his priorities for the bilateral relationship. These included:

“We want to identify areas of improvement, especially in the area of strengthening our respective governance institutions through shared learning, technical support and infrastructural development.”

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The SMP is committed to using the bilateral relationship to support good governance at every level, in both our nations, which is why we have made 2020 and 2021 our ‘Years of Governance Strengthening’.

Malawi has had significant successes in this area, with:

Malawi identified by the Freedom House think tank as the only country that has strengthened its governance through the Covid-19 pandemic, where 80 countries had had theirs weakened.

The prestigious Chatham House prize, signed by HM The Queen, being awarded to Malawi’s High Court judges after Malawi became the first country in Africa to have a court-ordered re-run Presidential election, in which the opposition won.

The Economist newspaper naming Malawi its ‘Nation of the Year, 2020’ for these governance successes.

There is much we can learn from continued, respectful, two-way dialogue in this area, recognising that there is always more all of us can do to further strength our governance systems.

2020 2021 Years of Governance Strengthening Regtangle