Date: September 11, 2023

In a display of unwavering commitment and shared heritage, the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP) gathered on September 1, 2023, for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Symposium, marking the celebration of 150 years of since the death of Dr. David Livingstone. This momentous event took place at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi, and was graced by esteemed guests, including the keynote speaker, Professor Kenneth Ross, as well as MaSP board members, partners, and stakeholders.

The event commenced with an opening prayer by Linda Dembo, MaSP’s Project Manager, setting the tone for a day of reflection and renewed dedication to a shared vision. Dr. Ann Phoya, Chair of MaSP’s Board, welcomed everyone and highlighted the importance of the AGM as a platform for our member and partners to come together and celebrate the enduring legacy of this remarkable partnership.

MaSP’s CEO, Ms. Stella Masangano, commenced the management report with a poignant call to preserve the legacies of Dr. David Livingstone and John Chilembwe. A video trail documenting the journeys of these two historical figures was presented, emphasizing the potential for tourism to address economic challenges in Malawi while commemorating these legends.

Ms. Masangano further stressed the need for policy direction on resource mobilization and highlighted funding extensions from the Scottish government until 2025. However, certain coordination gaps remained in projects like climate justice due to unclear implementing partners. Opportunities for increased funding, including a “women and girls fund” and land acquisition for carbon credits, were also discussed, showcasing MaSP’s commitment to expanding its financial resources.

The report delved into the successes and challenges faced by MaSP in sectors such as education, health, gender, and more. Despite notable achievements, some school partnerships encountered hurdles, including database complications, understaffing, and communication challenges, underscoring the importance of mutual benefit in these partnerships.

MaSP’s commitment to gender equality and health was evident through capacity-building sessions, and the organization facilitated information gathering on palliative care, demonstrating a holistic approach to development.

Higher education institutions in Scotland also pledged support for Malawi, with Dundee University offering scholarships, online entrepreneurship training, and Africa Doctoral Fellowships.

Following the management report, Professor Kenneth Ross delivered a powerful keynote address, emphasizing the historical significance of Dr. David Livingstone’s positive reception by local community leaders and his dedication to inclusion and social justice. Professor Ross encouraged continued collaboration in the fight for climate justice.

A heartwarming success story emerged from Linthipe Secondary School, illustrating the tangible benefits of school partnerships, which included horticultural projects, technology access, and student training.

The event also shed light on the Livingstone Trail, showcasing historic sites and monuments, while emphasizing the need for investment to preserve Dr. Livingstone’s heritage.

An audit report by Mphatso Chilakalaka from AMG Global reported no anomalies, with questions raised about MaSP’s sustainability and resource mobilization. The board assured the presence of a resource mobilization team to address these concerns.

The event also featured The newly appointed Chair, Counsel Dan Daka,who shared his acceptance speech, and a summary of projects by St Johns of God, Malscot, and Chance for Change highlighted their impact on healthcare, cancer screening, and vocational training.

Hon. Nancy Tembo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, praised the partnership’s positive impact and the Scottish government’s support for climate justice. She highlighted the importance of continued collaboration to address climate change and support youth employment.

Hon. Christiana Mckilve, co-guest of honor, reiterated the Scottish government’s commitment to support Malawi in various areas, including health and education, and called for youth involvement in programming.

Stuart Brown, the Interim CEO of SMP, recognized the contributions of higher learning institutions and commended MaSP’s response to recent cyclones, emphasizing the sister-network’s importance.

Challenges and lessons learned, including resistance from project participants and data mismanagement, were discussed in planning head discussions, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and community policing.

In closing, Dr. Ann Phoya expressed her gratitude to all attendees and encouraged continued impact and accountability. Outgoing board directors received heartfelt farewells, setting the stage for a future of sustained collaboration and growth in the MaSP partnership.

The day concluded with a closing prayer, underscoring the unity and shared purpose that will drive MaSP’s legacy forward for the next 150 years.

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