The Scottish National Party marked St.Andrews Day this evening with a special debate on Scotland’s relationship with Malawi in the House of Commons.
Scotland’s link with Malawi dates back to the work of Dr David Livingstone, and for 150 years Scots have worked with the people of Malawi, helping them develop their education and health systems.
Commenting, Patrick Grady MP who led the debate said: “Scotland and Malawi share a very special relationship and I am delighted to recognise this in the House of Commons tonight - from the earliest missionaries to our two governments working together today to build a partnership to help fight extreme poverty.
“Earlier this month, we marked the tenth anniversary of the formal co-operation agreement signed by the Governments of Malawi and Scotland in 2005, and in October the civil society network, the Scotland-Malawi Partnership, held its 10th Annual General Meeting.
"The Scotland-Malawi Partnership, itself a network of nearly 700 organisations and key stakeholders, estimates that around 94,000 Scots are involved in partnership activities; while its sister, the Malawi-Scotland Partnership estimates 198,000 Malawians co-operate with friends and counterparts in Scotland.
“I used this debate in Parliament to call on the UK government to look at how easily visitors from Malawi can obtain visas from the UK, flagging that we will be carefully scrutinising the renegotiation of a tax treaty between the UK and Malawi.
“Over the years Scotland has invested over £55million in Malawi – this is in addition to DFID and other UK investment, although the UK do count it towards the 0.7% ODA target. This funding has helped quadruple the number of medical graduates in Malawi, ensured 140,000 children have been prioritised for emergency treatment through a meningitis treatment programme, and brought new energy access to almost 80,000 people in the most rural parts of the country through a £2.3million renewable energy programme.”