JB marks David Livingstone birth as Scotland gives new £5m aid to Malawi

Malawi President Joyce Banda on Sunday joined Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond to mark 200 years since the birth of Scottish missionary Dr David Livingstone.

President Banda visited the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre before attending a church service and also got the economic boost with announcement of Salmond of the five millon Pounds in aid.

In her address, the Malawian leader paid tribute to the Scottish missionary who helped to fight slavery in Malawi and other African countries.

“Dr. David Livingstone fought against Slave Trade, illiteracy and underdevelopment as primary enemies to civilization. I am excited, as most Malawians are, to be part of the Bicentenary Celebrations to remember the life of Dr. David Livingstone. I look forward to further developing a strong and positive relationship with the people of Scotland,” said Banda.

The First Minister of Scotland and Malawi President Joyce Banda at Livingstone Memorial Centre

The First Minister of Scotland and Malawi President Joyce Banda at Livingstone Memorial Centre

“I am looking forward to engaging the Scottish people on matters of trade, investment and development, which Dr David Livingstone aspired to achieve.”

Scotland’s First Minister confirmed that 15 projects in Malawi run by Scottish–based organisations have been allocated £4,920,106 of funding over three years from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund.

Nine of the projects are related to healthcare, focusing on mother and child, and the other six projects are involved in sustainable economic development.

Salmond spoke of the “enduring and strong relationship” between Scotland and Malawi.

“I am particularly pleased that as we welcome President Banda, who is only the second-ever female head of state in Africa, that several of the projects we are supporting have a focus on women and children such as supporting professionals delivering maternal and child healthcare, and improving maternal and neonatal care in rural areas.

“It is also important that we focus on economic development in Malawi. Just as the global recession has hit the economy here, it has also hit hard, in fact, harder in developing countries,” he said.

“The Scottish Government is committed to working with the people of Malawi and continuing the partnership of skills and expertise that currently benefits Scots and Malawians every year,” added Salmond.

The National Trust for Scotland, which manages the David Livingstone Centre commended President Banda for attending the event.

The Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland Sir Kenneth Calman said:  “We are honoured to welcome President Banda to the place where David Livingstone was born, and pleased that she has been able to join us for the celebrations marking the birth of a man whose achievements were significant not only for our nation, but for hers too.”

Presidenr Banda and First Minister Salmond also attended a memorial service being held at Blantyre Parish Church led by the Rt. Rev. Albert Bogle, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The First Minister of Scotland presents a gift of a book to Malawi President Joyce Banda at Livingstone Memorial Centre Blantyre, Scotland

The First Minister of Scotland presents a gift of a book to Malawi President Joyce Banda at Livingstone Memorial Centre Blantyre, Scotland

President Banda and the First Gentleman pose with Stenhouse Full Primary School pupils Alexander Dennis, Rabecca Tant and their Headteacher Marlene Galashan on arrival in Edinburgh, Scotland

President Banda and the First Gentleman pose with Stenhouse Full Primary School pupils Alexander Dennis, Rabecca Tant and their Headteacher Marlene Galashan on arrival in Edinburgh, Scotland

Foreign Affairs Minister Mganda Chiume and Scottish officials welcome JB

Foreign Affairs Minister Mganda Chiume and Scottish officials welcome JB

Deputy Malawi High Commissioner to the UK John Tembo Jnr and Minister Mganda Chiume await the President to alight from her limousine

Deputy Malawi High Commissioner to the UK John Tembo Jnr and Minister Mganda Chiume await the President to alight from her limousine

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