Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) and its sister network in Malawi, Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP), have sponsored the publication of a 400+ page, peer reviewed literature on governance in Malawi, which is a new major collaboration as a part of their 'Years of Governance Strengthening' campaign.
The publication, 'Beyond Impunity: New Directions for Governance in Malawi', will be accompanied by an eight-part webinars series exploring governance strengthening.
It was edited by Kenneth R. Ross, Asiyati Lorraine Chiweza and Wapulumuka O. Mulwafu and will be commercially available in Malawi later this year, supported by the SMP.
A statement from SMP says the publication was written by 25 leading academics in Malawi and "is arguably the most comprehensive, insightful and up to date publication on this topic to date".
The statement further says between October 2021 and May 2022, the SMP and MaSP are co-hosting eight high-profile digital webinars exploring governance strengthening in Malawi -- to be chaired by Associate Prof. Asiyati Lorraine Chiweza.
Each webinar will feature one or more leading Malawian academic and governance expert, presenting their chapter(s) from the forthcoming publication and each webinar will include a response from a leading figure in Scotland reflecting on Scotland's experience and learning.
Each webinar will include significant time for open debate and discussion, chaired by Prof Chiweza or her co-editors.
The digital launch event will take place on Wednesday October 27 from 13.30hrs Malawi time on Zoom, which will be an introduction to the series -- with input from the three co-editors, and a Scottish response from Lord Jack McConnell.
The public is encourage to join these digital webinars and take part in the discussion and debate but places must be booked online at www.scotland-malawipartnership.org.
The series of webinars aims to make a constructive and tangible contribution to governance strengthening in Malawi, drawing on the country's academic knowledge and expertise as well as reflections and sharing from Scotland.
This is in keeping with the strong governance strengthening agenda set by the Government of Malawi while the work is independent of government but follows the call from President Lazarus Chakwera's collaboration between Scotland and Malawi in the area of governance strengthening.
Chakwera is quoted as saying on October 2020: "We want to identify areas of improvement, especially in the area of strengthening our respective governance institutions through shared learning, technical support and infrastructural development."
While David Hope-Jones, CEO of the Scotland Malawi Partnership said they are delighted to be involved in this major governance strengthening partnership which is helping bring an international audience to the work of 25 of Malawi's leading academics and thought leaders.
"We applaud the ambition and drive of the Government of Malawi in its commitment to strengthening governance, at every level, across the country," he said. "Both Scotland and Malawi will benefit from the honest two-way sharing, learning and discussion in this series.
"Scotland is happy to be open about its successes and failures in the area of governance, sharing this learning with humility and openness. We look forward to going on this journey of mutual benefit with our friends in Malawi.
Hope-Jones takes cognizance that "the 160-year-old friendship between our two nations is underpinned by mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual understanding".
In his remarks, Dr Paul Tiyambe Zeleza -- Vice-Chancellor of United States International University-Africa -- described the publication 'Beyond Impunity: New Directions for Governance in Malawi', as "comprehensive, compelling, accessible and timely".
"The best book I have read recently on the country's complex, contradictory, messy, and disappointing political and socioeconomic dispensation since the dawn of the era of multi-party democracy in 1994."
Prof Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham, said: "The events of 2019/2020 were momentous not just for democracy in Malawi but for the wider region.
"This impressive volume brings together critical insights that reveal why the presidential election was nullified, how key democratic institutions emerged stronger than before, and the challenges that still remain.
"It is essential reading for anyone working on Malawian politics or democratic consolidation more broadly," he said.