'Malawi should strive towards self reliance'

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

The Scottish government has urged Malawi to strive towards self reliance for the country to achieve economic growth for its citizens.

Scotland and Malawi relationship has been strong for 10 years Scotland and Malawi relationship has been strong for 10 years

Former Scottish First Minister Lord Jack McConnell, who served from 2001 to 2007, observed that once Malawi is able to build capacity for its people, the country will no longer have to look for donors to sustain its programmes in different sectors such as health and education.


Jack McConnell made the remarks on Friday during a Malawi–Scotland Partnership meeting in Lilongwe which drew the participation of organizations that get support from the Scottish government.

McConnell, who signed a cooperation agreement between the 2 countries in 2005, described the partnership as special as it mainly focuses on the people of the two nations and not their governments.


“These discussions we have today were not so much about on how we just spend money from Scotland, but have partnerships that improve skill and do it for the long term; make a real impact. And that was an interesting discussion”. Mc Connell observed.


The Scottish politician noted that although Malawi has so many needs, the country has so much potential to develop further.


Commenting on his visit at Ethel Mutharika Maternity Wing Lord McConnell said he was pleased with the clean and safe environment which pregnant women are giving birth in.


National Coordinator of the Malawi - Scotland Partnership Happy Makala described the interface with Mc Connell as fruitful and cordial.

“Our relationship between Malawi and Scotland from a civil society perspective including individuals who have links with Scotland is just very good, cordial and sound” said Makala.


He further hailed the support from the Scottish government which has borne positive results.


After losing office as First Minister of Scotland, McConnell became a member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom and made a commitment to continue his work to tackle poverty in Africa and to develop the relationship between Scotland and Malawi.

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