UK envoy to Malawi writes on Land of the Red Dragon: Wales

Fans of J.K. Rowling will remember that a Common Welsh Dragon featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire<, the fourth book of her immensely popular series. The Baner Cymru is the striking flag of Wales, and the dragon is the perfect symbol of the bold, imaginative and original thinking for which Wales is renowned around the world. It flies at the High Commission on March 1 to mark St David’s Day, the national day of Wales, when people in the United Kingdom celebrate the first day of spring.

Michael Nevin, British High Commissioner to Malawi

Michael Nevin, British High Commissioner to Malawi

The ties specifically between Wales and Malawi are perhaps not as numerous as other parts of the UK, but there are, for example, a number of well-known journalists, such as Mabvuto Banda, who studied journalism in Cardiff, many through a British Government Chevening scholarship. And my own daughter studied architecture in Cardiff and still lives there. Golfers in Malawi will know Celtic Manor, scene of a famous European victory against the USA in the 2010 Ryder Cup. Readers may let me know of other ties.

In September last year, Wales was at the centre of the world stage when Newport played host to the NATO Summit, the largest summit ever held on UK soil, attended by 60 world leaders and 70 foreign and defence chiefs.

The year 2014 was also a very successful year for the Welsh economy. The UK’s GDP is currently growing faster than that of any other major advanced nation, and Wales has seen some of the fastest growth within the UK.

This economic success was underlined in November, when an investment summit in Celtic Manor gave Welsh business the opportunity to show over 150 global investors exactly why Wales is such an attractive place to invest and create jobs.

This year, the focus turns to sport, as people in Wales celebrate their great passion, rugby. After the Six Nations in the spring, September and October will see Cardiff’s mighty Millennium Stadium host several matches in the Rugby World Cup.

On March 1 in Wales, people celebrate St David’s Day by singing the rousing national anthem,  Land of My Fathers  and wearing daffodils and leeks, but Wales’ national day is also an opportunity to stop and take stock of the culture, history and achievements of this remarkable and beautiful country.

Among those born and bred in Wales were Aneurin Bevan, the architect of the world’s first truly national health service; Dylan Thomas, one of the world’s great poets, whose birth centenary was celebrated last year; and William Jones, who transformed mathematics by first using Pi as a symbol.

In the world of business, over half of the world’s commercial aircraft fly on wings made in Wales, and three Welsh companies collaborated on the European Rosetta project which landed a probe on a comet over 300 million miles away, travelling at 36 000 miles per hour.

It is innovation like this that has seen the creation of more than 26 000 new businesses in Wales in the last five years alone. Over 700 international businesses are located in Wales, including Sony, GE, Airbus and Toyota.

The business environment is underpinned by an education system with world-class universities that are fully integrated with commercial and industrial partners. Swansea University’s collaboration with Tata Steel is helping to engineer the buildings of tomorrowwhich are capable of creating their own energy. And Cardiff is establishing itself as a major international hub for life sciences.

Wales also receives millions of visitors each year. It boasts more castles per square mile than any other country in Europe, and is home to the Gower Peninsula, the first place in the UK to be awarded the accolade ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. From the annual Hay Literary Festival, the spectacular vistas of the Brecon Beacons, to the museums and nightlife of Cardiff and Swansea, Wales is a magical place to travel.

In the Welsh language, the word for welcome is ‘Croeso’. In 2015, visitors for business or pleasure can be assured of a very warm welcome in Cymru.

  • The author is British High Commissioner to Malawi.
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16 thoughts on “UK envoy to Malawi writes on Land of the Red Dragon: Wales”

  1. Funzo says:

    Let’s hear about some other random place, please!

  2. Wa ku Lilongwe says:

    I have learnt quite a lot here. ‘Kuyenda nkuphunzira’, if you can’t travel, you can read about other places. For the keen student, there are pointers in there of policies that can help Malawi develop. Zina sitimachita kunena directly (poti Amalaw ena apa akuonetsa ubulutu, nde tichite kupanga spell out: education, innovation, attracting investment, partnerships among researchers and companies, preservation of natural beauty).

  3. Wailing Soul says:

    Whats the pôint in this article?

  4. Young Master Bandaranaike says:

    Noted with thanks.

  5. jesus is lord says:

    And you call this news worthy come on now we have bigger things going on in Malawi we don’t need to here this wales flag crap of what use is it to us.

  6. Masoambeta says:

    It beggars belief to see the amount of illiteracy being displayed by Malawians on this forum. It is shocking to see the level of nincompoops and charlatans frequenting this website.
    In international relations, it is the duty of a foreign diplomat to market their country. That is the main duty of Bambo Nevin.
    This is why Malawian diplomats are busy mucking about without a clue of what they’re supposed to do for their country when they’re abroad on a diplomatic mission.
    Shocking levels of illiteracy .

  7. Garry says:

    Please get your facts right. It is the wife and not Mabvuto Banda who studied Ku Cardiff

  8. Shasmin says:

    Tingavetse nkhaniyi ndi amene tudziwa za Ku Wales. Very special place with many racist people who still call every one ‘Love’

  9. dr bakha says:

    i have been to wales myself,they are realy nice people as compared to britain.people are friendly there and they like blacks.

  10. ğyu says:

    Kweni kweni akufuna kunena kuti chani bambo awa? PRO work by a whole commissioner, shows u surely have nothing to do. Don’t appropriate mavuto as a product of the British Empire chifukwa choti watchuka ndi ntchito za manja ake. mavuto is a product of pen point. Home grown and home nurtured

  11. Bakha Nkhomano says:

    So the whole British High Commissioner to Malawi has been reduced to a PRO for Wales? The British stole our land, yet they refuse to pay compensation. They even refuse to open up the British market to Malawian exporters. Go back home Brits go back!

    1. special advisor says:

      That’s part of his role; PRO is an extension of his role. Thus he has the discretion to do a bit of it himself, more so, if he finds it fun to do so!

      1. malawian says:

        bambo nevin ndinuso a special advisor?

  12. Alufeyo says:

    Thanks to the Japanese for developing Wales otherwise it could have been backward. FDIs work well if there is stability. However the real powerhouse in Europe is Germany. Oh how i wish Africans had Germany mentallity and work ethic. Choncho.

  13. James says:

    This is very informative too…did not know some of these facts until now.

  14. James says:

    I totally agree with the commissioner on this. Wales is such a wonderful place to be at, its people are very warm and friendly too. Am very happy to be part of the community while studying Project Management in Cardiff, University of Wales.

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