Malawi leader President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to deliver a keynote address at this year’s Scotland-Malawi Partnership (SMP) annual general meeting which, due to Covid-19 restrictions, will be held virtually.
During the conference, whose focus is to celebrate the 161-year old friendship between Scotland and Malawi, President Chakwera is also expected to accept the role of “Hon. Co-Patron of the Partnership, alongside HRH The Princess Royal.”
A statement said the conference will celebrate the spirit of longstanding partnership and solidarity between the two nations, discuss key developments and together plan the next chapter in the relationship, and that those actively involved in the Scotland-Malawi friendship, based in both countries, were invited to join the digital conference with following booking arrangements at: www.scotland-malawipartnership.org
David Hope-Jones, SMP chief executive officer, said much as there have been challenges in the course of the friendship, he envisaged fantastic new opportunities, and the next chapter in the Scotland-Malawi story will be brighter than ever.
“The afternoon will listen to, engage, share, and help re-energise the network’s membership in Scotland, and their partners in Malawi. It is essential that in these more challenging and changing times we do not forget that Scotland is proud to be an outward-looking nation, eager to act as a good global citizen, and work in partnership and solidarity with our friends across the globe,” said Hope-Jones.
According to the statement, the Scotland Malawi Partnership recognised the 2020 conference as a key moment in the bilateral relationship.
“As Covid-19 continues to define our lives, with Scotland-Malawi travel dormant but digital engagements revolutionising how we work; as Malawi’s new government takes office, with a strong focus on new leadership and governance strengthening; as the debate around Black Lives Matter poses important questions about diversity and representation; as Scotland prepares to host COP26, its most significant global summit to date, with the unique opportunity to help define the global response to the climate crisis; and as the Scottish Government reviews its international development policy, it is more important than ever that, as a network of 1,200+ organisations and key individuals, we come together to listen, share and discuss the next chapter in the bilateral friendship,” reads the statement.
During the partnership, there will also be a live performance by Malawi’s “famous comedian” Daliso Chaponda. Chaponda is son to George Chaponda—a parliamentarian for Mulanje South West and former cabinet minister in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.
Since reaching the Britain’s Got Talent finals, Daliso Chaponda has been perhaps one of the most famous Malawians in the performing arts. His two outstanding BBC Radio 4 series (Daliso Chaponda: Citizen of Nowhere), have explored serious themes of identity, representation, global citizenship and migration in genuinely light-hearted and engaging ways. He has been an inspiring Malawian voice on the airwaves and on the television.
According to the SMP statement, Daliso has a huge number of fans in the SMP’s membership and has been delighting audiences across the world for a number of years, including regularly featuring in the Edinburgh Fringe.