On Tuesday 7 May 2019 I met with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to present her with the report of the Malawi Scotland High Level Conference held in Lilongwe on 28-29 September 2018. Titled “Malawi and Scotland: Together for Sustainable Development”, it offers a comprehensive assessment of the shared effort of the two countries.
The First Minister received the report very positively, commenting that its relationship with Malawi says something important about Scotland. She has been impressed by the wide reach of the Malawi connection in Scottish society, and particularly the leadership being offered today by young people. She looks forward to visiting Malawi herself to deepen her experience of the people-to-people relationship.
The Conference reaffirmed four distinctive features of the Scotland-Malawi relationship: priority of the relational, mobilisation of civil society, Government in synergy with people, and a reciprocal partnership for development.
It also identified four areas calling for attention in the next phase of interaction: thinking big – putting our successful model on to a bigger scale; enhancing collaboration between Government, Parliament and civil society – in both nations; working holistically – more partnership than project; and recognising the foundational importance of strengthening good governance. Overall the Conference has provided a springboard from which to advance the innovative model of inter-national collaboration being developed between the peoples of Malawi and Scotland.