Ben Macpherson to visit Malawi to see impact of our two nations’ partnerships

24 Sep 2018
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We are delighted to share the news that the International Development Minister, Ben Macpherson, MSP, will visit Malawi this month.

As part of hs visit, Mr Macpherson will attend a conference where the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP), the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), with the Scottish Government, the Government of Malawi and both Parliaments, will deliver a conference in Lilongwe during UN Global Goals week.

Titled “Malawi and Scotland: Together for Sustainable Development”, the conference will take place on Friday 28th September and Saturday 29th September and bring together a range of key stakeholders across civil society, government and parliament to share insights and explore how best to implement the Global Goals Partnership Agreement.

In his first visit to the country since being appointed to government, Mr Macpherson will also visit a range of projects developed with partner organisations in Malawi. Alongside visits to Mary’s Meals and the Malawian Police College, he will also see the way in which Scotland’s global health partnership which includes the NHS, Royal Colleges, the third sector, NGOs and academic institutions is helping to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“I am delighted to be visiting Malawi to promote the longstanding friendship between our countries,” he said.

“For more than 150 years Scotland and Malawi have had a strong relationship built on a history of collaboration, particularly in health and education and more recently in the fields of climate change and gender equality.

“We are determined to build on this strong relationship and that’s why we’re creating new opportunities to exchange skills, investment and trade between Scotland and Malawi, and our model of partnership demonstrates Scotland’s unique approach to international development and meeting the UN’s Global Goals.

“Scotland has a longstanding global reputation in international development which all of Scotland can and should be proud of.

“Especially given that it’s UN Global Goals week, I’m really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that Scottish directly funded projects, civic society, charities and businesses are making, in helping to support some the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.”

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This agreement was signed earlier this year by the First Minister and H.E. the President of Malawi during a visit to Scotland.

This outlines Scotland and Malawi’s joint commitment to realising the United Nations’ Global Development Goals and is an agreement to commit both governments to development cooperation across areas such as health, education, human rights, governance and social enterprise.

The accord comes 13 years after the governments of Scotland and Malawi first signed a cooperation agreement and the detailed discussion and planning which took place at the 2005 Malawi After Gleneagles conference, hosted in the Scottish Parliament, as the first Scotland-Malawi Cooperation Agreement was signed.

The enduring appeal and success of the Malawi-Scotland friendship is not just the significant shared history our two nations enjoy but also the constructive synergy and collective effort across government, parliament and civil society, and the spirit of dignified two-way partnership as opposed to the traditional one-way aid model.

This is widely seen as an innovative new approach to international development and Scotland’s people-people model is attracting interest from other countries.

This conference seeks to support the Global Goals Partnership Agreement and its spirit of collaboration, goodwill and mutual cooperation.

In this way, the conference will help further re-energise the bilateral relationship and establish a direction of travel and ways of working for this next exciting chapter, in a genuinely consultative, cross-cutting and engaging manner.

The conference will include a strong focus on safeguarding, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and youth participation.

2018 is Scotland’s Year of Young People and, with an estimated 45% of the Malawi population under the age of 15 in 2018, it is fitting that young people will have an integral role in this conference.

The conference will engage and listen to young people across Malawi who are part of the long-standing friendship with Scotland. The second day of the conference will include a youth question and answer session with Mr Macpherson.

David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive at the Scotland Malawi Partnership said: “We are delighted Mr Macpherson has this opportunity to visit Malawi, the warm heart of Africa.

“I am sure, like countless Scots before him, he will be inspired by the strength of friendship between our two nations and the sheer number of people-to-people links across churches, schools and communities.”

“This conference is a key opportunity to bring together representatives from across civic society, government and parliament to discuss the 159-year-old friendship between Malawi and Scotland, and explore the next chapter of cooperation.

“This is a dignified two-way partnership between friends and equals.

“It is underpinned by mutual understanding and mutual respect and inspires active participation amongst each new generation. We believe this is a powerful new approach to international development.”