Scotland pledges increased support to Malawi

Spurred by the strong bilateral ties that exists between the two countries, the Scottish government has pledged an increased support to the people of Malawi in a bid to help in improving the livelihoods of many people in the south-east African nation.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the pledge Sunday when she hosted Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who paid her a courtesy visit at her official State Residence at Bute House located within Charlotte Square in Edinburgh.

Malawi President Chakwera shaking hands with the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as Foreign Minister Principal Secretary Dr Lucky Sikwese and Deputy High Commissioner to London Quent Kalichero looks on.

The Malawian Head of State and the Scottish leader were meeting to discuss the two countries’ bilateral relationship in a closed door indaba, which centred on strengthening and cementing bilateral relationship between the two nations, agreed to strengthen and bolster friendship of the two peoples which dates back to more than a century ago.

Sturgeon assured president Chakwera of her government’s renewed commitment in maintaining support to the former British colony, Malawi in areas such as agriculture, education, health, climate change, and the Covid-19 among others.

The Scottish First Minister told the Malawi leader that she is passionate about girlchild education and therefore she promised an increased financial support to the former British Protectorate, Malawi formerly known as Nyasaland.

The two leaders met as the eyes of the world fall on Glasgow as global leaders gather to thrash out plans for for a momentous mission – to save the Planet earth at COP26.

On his part, president Chakwera, who was accompanied his Foreign Affairs Minister, Eisenhower Mkaka, assured the Scottish leader of Malawi’s espoused commitment to a continued strong bond, aimed at reigniting the special relationship the two nations have always has had.

Malawi President Chakwera and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cementing the two countries’ bilateral friendship.

Chakwera used the occasion to reiterate his commitment to working closely with the Scottish Government and People on matters of mutual interest at both bilateral and multilateral levels.

However, President Chakwera pleaded to the global rich to increase their financial support to the global poor.

Chakwera said poorest countries like Malawi have lower emissions while rich, developed and highly industrised nations have the highest emissions and yet it is the former that suffers the consequences more.

President Chakwera’s Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda in an interview with Nyasa Times said:

“It was a very fruitful meeting and the two leaders have solidified the two countries’ bilateral relationship.

“Malawi and Scotland have always been ‘good friends’ and president Chakwera thanked the Scottish First Minister for her government’s continued support to Malawi.”

In a separate interview, Principal Secretary (PS) Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Luckie Sikwese, who accompanied president Chakwera and Foreign Affairs Minister, Eisenhower Mkaka, said president Chakwera has extended an invitation to the Scottish First Minister to visit Malawi.

President Chakwera presenting a gift to Sturgeon. Pictures by Govati Nyirenda.

“During the meeting in which the two leaders exchanged ideas on COP26 priorities, president Chakwera invited the Scottish leader to Malawi for a visit and so she can appreciate the two countries’ cordial relationship and also to experience the warmth of the Malawian people,” said Sikwese.

Links between Scotland and Malawi began with David Livingstone’s journeys up the Zambezi and Shire Rivers to Lake Malawi in 1859, long before the borders of the modern nation of Malawi had been established.

Both the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland had established missions in Malawi by the mid-1870s.

These missionaries, it is said, persuaded the UK government to declare the area a British and this colonial arrangement lasted, in various forms, until full independence was achieved on July 6th 1964 and this led Malawi in becoming a member of the Commonwealth.

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