Britain pumps $11mil for Malawi ID cards: Mutharika launches project for ‘transformative change’

Britain has said it is pleased to to support  Malawi government’s flagship national identity cards (IDs) project  which will provide all Malawians with a legal identity.


President Mutharika presents National ID to Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya


Mutharika presents a National Identity card to Inkosi Ya Makhosi Mmbelwa V


President Mutharika is presente  with an Identity card by Minister of Home Affairs and Internal security Grace Chiumia -Cgovati-nyirenda..

President Peter Mutharika launched the National Registration and Identification system  project on Thursday at Bingu International Conference centre in Lilongwe.

Head of DFID in Malawi, Philip Smith, disclosed that  UK is the “biggest donor” to the project with a commitment of US$11million.

“Being able to verify the identity of individuals is a prerequisite for Malawi’s development. The UK is pleased to be able to support the Government’s flagship ID card project which will provide all Malawians with a legal identity,” Smith told Nyasa Times.

“ ID cards have the potential to deliver transformative change in Malawi.  After the Government of Malawi – which is commendably providing 40% of the funds – the UK is the biggest donor to the project with a commitment of US$11million,” he added.

The ID’s project is a milestone of the Mutharika government as Malawians currently use driving licenses, passports, and in some cases voter registration certificates as proof of their citizenship in places and institutions where identification is needed.

Those who don’t have such documents are asked to bring any person with a passport or driving license to be a witness.

Malawians who cannot fulfill such requiremenrts cannot get assistance in places like commercial banks and money lending institutions.

Speaking when he launched the project, President Mutharika said for many years Malawi has been losing its resources by among other carrying out the voter registration exercise during elections and paying ghost workers in public offices,saying  the IDs  will help the country among other things save public finances.

“Malawi just like any other countries in the world cannot develop by implementing old systems. Time has come for the country to abandon all its old systems and implement new and workable ones. The launch of the National Identity Card and is a symbol of national transformation,” Mutharika said.

He added: “With this card, we hope to bring better organization in various socio-economic transactions. Malawians will enjoy better organization in programmes such as fertilizer subsidy, social cash transfer, banking and loan schemes.”

Government of Malawi is geared to roll out the National Identity Card at a full scale sometime next year. The roll out process is expected to register about 9 million Malawians.

Malawi government is expected to channel 40 percent of its resources towards the project while donor partners will contribute the remaining 60 percent.

Meanwhile, Mutharika has commended the Public Service Reforms Commission chaired by Vice President Saulos Chilima for successfully carrying out transformations that will ensure successful change towards a dynamic, efficient and effective Public Service.

“With this Commission, we are implementing bold and decisive reforms to ensure a well-motivated, competent and result-oriented public service. This process will culminate into a transformed public service delivery system. This will ultimately change our way of providing services; our culture of doing business; and making service providers accountable to the people,” the President said.

Health authorities say the absence of national IDs is putting strain on medical resources because foreigners come to take advantage of free medical services in public hospitals, particularly in border districts.

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia said despite that the country already rolled out a universal and compulsory birth and death registration of babies, every Malawian above the age of 16 will be registered.

“From now to December 2016 we will register about 9 Million people and more will be registered in our next phases,” she explained.

Virginia Palmer, United States of America Ambassador to Malawi commended the Malawi government for living up to its dream.

She said the National registration and identity system will help accelerate the country’s development as Malawi will now have a clear picture of its population and as such formulate policies accordingly.

“This is essential transformation as it will enable Malawians have better access to health, education and other various public services,” Palmer explained.

United Nations Representative, Mia Seppho assured Malawi government of the organization’s support towards the project.

Seppho said UN recognizes the importance of the national registration and identification systems as it benefits in particular the rural masses.

Malawi adopted the National Registration and Identification Act in 2010 and the official launch of National Registration and Identification system completes the whole journey.

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HE the Life President Mfuti Kasinja?
HE the Life President Mfuti Kasinja?

Chonde a Britain, ndalama zimenezo zisabwere, tiziba ife ma cashgaters, zikhala zomwera mowa ku Bwandiro.

James Amin

Bravo Malawi Government, especially the reform commission ably headed by Vice President Chilima, Its a shame you chose to do this while he was sent to Rome for a one day trip, WTF!! This was his baby, yes sent by the President but he executed it very well. Journalists have totally failed to pick up on this aspect. It is important!!

Emmanuel Kampira

We thank the Malawian government and its leadership for improving our country to a high level, that Malawians now will have IDs.

But my worry is this, why should National Identity Card expires? We are asking the law makers of our country as citizens of Malawi to remove expiry date on the ID. Since I have not seen ID of any country in SADC expires. Passport and Driving license can expire not ID.

Please!! Please!! REMOVE THE EXPIRY DATE ON OUR MALAWIAN NATIONAL ID. Still we are behind if this will not be fixed




Good News from Nazereth….ID is the primary birth of Entity Life History called of an entity called MAN. It will be easy to implement various systems in this country….


What a waste of money and effort. Why not use that energy to revive the almost dead electricity sector?

khalid seleman

Hey there’s nothing wrong for that, sometimes we must not just opose unnesecery ID is the good thing to recognise the citizens. They must just follow the right way not just to pick in anyhow.

Chilungamo Chimawawa

But i understand if someone has an a Driver’s license or Passport then can be a witness to someone who wants to get an Identity Card. Is this seriousness my fellow Malawians. No where in the world can someone obtain an ID in this manner. If we are not careful, most millions of Zimbabweans and and other foreigners who are in our country will get these IDs. Malawians lets stop sleeping! We have slept too much please!

kwacha malawi

Yes one of the” biggest donor DFID” commended the Malawi government for living up to its dream! This is a development government has roll out today. Let us support our government and lets stop pulling down ourselves.


I overhead some foreigners boasting at a drinking joint that they will be among the first to obtain the ID cards just as they did with the new passport. If thats true, which I fear is the case given our high levels of corruption, this exercise may end up being another resource wasting venture. Unless Malawians really understand the need to jelously defend our citizenship, having IDs will not help matters at all.

khalid seleman

I am supporting this because some of the foreigners they have been applying Malawian passports just because it was easy to do so without any problems, so if we have I D no one will apply it easily. You know that the person who can have a force document it’s easy to commit crime just because no one will recognise him, so lets support this but remember that it is not for sale the way passport is at the moment.

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