The Scotland Malawi Partnership invited representatives from the Rwanda Scotland Alliance and the Scotland-Zambia Association to an informal meeting on the 13th April 2017 in the Edinburgh City Chambers.
This was an informal chance to get to know each other, share our experience and learning as networks, share our plans and priorities, and discuss areas of potential future collaboration. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum and NIDOS were also invited and the Scottish Government was invited to input, as were the relevant Hon Consuls. All were welcome to attend this initial informal meeting and to invite others as well.
Calum Henderson, Hon Consul, Government of Rwanda
Kirsty Harper, Chair, Rwanda Scotland Alliance
Kilvert Croft, Board Member, Rwanda Scotland Alliance
Eric Harper, Board Member, Rwanda Scotland Alliance
Lazarus Hankombo, Co-Chair, Scotland-Zambia Assocaition
Kalonde Kasengele*, Co-Chair, Scotland-Zambia Association
Jo Vallis, Chair, Friends of Chitambo
Eunice Sinyemu, Country Manager, THET Zambia
SCOTLAND MALAWI PARTNERSHIP
David Hope-Jones, Chief Executive, Scotland Malawi Partnership
SCOTTISH FAIR TRADE FORUM
Colleen Tait, Community Engagement Officer, Scottish Fair Trade Forum
* Joined remotely via Skype
This being our first meeting it was an open agenda, with time for each organisation to share information on plans, priorities and opportunities for collaboration. All were equally welcome to bring topics for discussion and steer the conversation how they wished.
It was noted that:
- The Scottish Government’s Rwanda and Zambia call for applications is a good opportunity for these two networks to engage organisations working in these countries.
- To do so, these networks need clear public-facing information to help bring together organisations and create a structured database and communication systems.
- NIDOS is doing good work mapping activity in these countries – good to connect in to this.
- Capacity is a major challenge for the Rwanda and Zambia networks.
- The Scotland Malawi Partnership is very happy to offer support, advice and expertise however useful.
- Another key priority is ensuring all three networks are appropriately constituted.
- The new Scottish Government International Development strategy encourages collaboration between the networks, it’s therefore good to get their input to discussions.
It was agreed that:
- The Scotland Malawi Partnership will offer time and capacity for their Media and Communications Officer to meet with the Rwanda and Zambia networks and offer advice and practical assistance to create effective websites and social media presence.
- The Scotland Malawi Partnership will offer space on its website to signpost to the other two networks.
- The Rwanda Scotland Alliance and the Scotland Malawi Partnership will share their founding documents with the Scotland-Zambia Association and offer support and advice as they become formally constituted.
- The Scotland Malawi Partnership will update NIDOS on the meeting and connect the Zambia and Rwanda networks with NIDOS’ mapping work.
- The Scotland Malawi Partnership will update the SG on this forum and invite the SG to the next meeting.
- The Scotland Malawi Partnership is happy to host and facilitate future meetings if this useful.
All those attending unanimously agreed that it was extremely worthwhile to come together to share, plan and collaborate.
Four priority areas of synergy were identified for further sharing and joint working in 2017:
(1) Network systems:
Opportunities for shared learning between the networks (especially around membership systems, structures and administration), and for effective mutual promotion.
(2) Shared history:
Recognition of the shared regional history, especially relating to David Livingstone, with opportunities for collaboration around Africa Day, Black History Month and the David Livingstone Centre.
(3) Diaspora engagement:
Opportunities for shared of learning around how best to mobilise leadership and engagement across diaspora communities.
(4) Trade and Tourism:
Opportunities for joint-working to promote tourism and exports, build markets, and lobby against unjust trade barriers.
It was agreed that the group will initially look to meet every second month, with a rotating chair from the three countries involved. Each meeting will look specifically at one of the four areas of synergy and collaboration. The Scotland Malawi Partnership offered to host meetings if useful.
Chair: Scotland-Zambia Association
Topic: Network systems
Chair: Rwanda Scotland Alliance
Topic: Shared history
Chair: Scotland Malawi Partnership
Topic: Diaspora engagement
Chair: Scotland-Zambia Association
Topic: Trade & Tourism