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Scotland’s civic links with Malawi stronger than ever

This news post is over 7 years old

​Links between Scotland and African nation run deep.

A new report reveals the scale of Malawi links which now exist in every region of Scotland.

The studydetails over 1,000 schools, churches, charities, businesses, individuals, universities and community groups who all have links with the African country.

It was launched by the five Holyrood party leaders, the Malawi Cross Party Group and the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), the national charity which coordinates links between the two countries,

The University of Edinburgh estimates that there are over 94,000 Scots involved in links with Malawi, which all started 156 years ago, with the travels of Scottish explorer, Dr David Livingstone.

These civic links benefit more than 300,000 Scots and 4 million Malawians a year.

I am very proud of the links that exist between Scotland and Malawi and want these to be strengthened still further

Separate research by the SMP suggests 46% of Scots, almost half the country, can name a friend or family engaged in a civic link with Malawi, making this one of the world’s strongest north-south people-to-people relationships.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am very proud of the links that exist between Scotland and Malawi and want these to be strengthened still further.

“As First Minister I was honoured to host His Excellency Mr Kena Mphonda, the Malawian High Commissioner, in November last year to celebrate 10 years of governmental links, links which were forged in the over 150 years that the people of Scotland and Malawi have worked closely together to help alleviate poverty.

“This report, produced by the Scottish Government-funded Scotland Malawi Partnership, shows the depth of the enduring relationship we enjoy, with links to Malawi from communities in every part of Scotland.”

David Hope-Jones OBE, principal officer of the SMP, added: “It’s inspiring to see more and more communities across Scotland becoming involved in civic links with Malawi. This report details more than 1,000 individual partnerships between groups in Scotland and Malawi.

“There is no country-to-country, people-to-people friendship quite like this anywhere in the world.

“With Malawi links now embedded across every Holyrood constituency, it’s wonderful to see such strong support from all five parties in the Scottish Parliament. We are sure this all-party support will only increase as more and more MSPs see the positive impact these links are having in Scotland as well as Malawi.”

“This is not a bilateral relationship of ‘donors’ and ‘recipients’ but of friends and partners; a dignified two-way civic partnership, underpinned by mutual respect and understanding.”