27 February 2024
Malawi Government and United Nations Forge Strategic Partnership for Development
At Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, a significant gathering unfolded as Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera convened the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) for a high-level dialogue to solidify the strategic partnership between the Government and the UN. The meeting was marked by a profound exchange of insights and commitments aimed at advancing the nation's development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underscored by the unveiling of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2024 – 2028. Led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, the UN Country Team aimed to strategically enhance the United Nations' collaborative efforts through engagement with the State President and to deliver advocacy messages and dialogue on key issues. The Resident Coordinator set the stage by urging both the UN and the Malawi Government to move together in elevating the lives of Malawians. "It is said that if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together. UN Malawi’s commitment is to go both far and fast together with Malawi, and we are here to reassure you of this commitment," said Adda-Dontoh. She delved into the essence of the Cooperation Framework, illustrating its ambitious agenda anchored around four strategic priority areas: supporting sustainable, diversified, and inclusive growth; strengthening institutional governance; ensuring sustainable investments and outcomes in human capital development; and adapting to climatic change while reversing environmental degradation and supporting energy transformation. Further, Adda-Dontoh emphasized the significance of leveraging the six SDG transitions to accelerate Malawi's progress towards national commitments and the achievement of the SDGs. These transitions encompass critical domains such as climate resilience, energy access, sustainable food systems, education, job creation, and digital connectivity. Drawing attention to Malawi's proactive stance on global initiatives, Adda-Dontoh commended the nation for committing to becoming a pathfinder country for the UN Secretary-General’s Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection. She congratulated President Chakwera for the progress made on this front and encouraged continued government engagement and leadership. Expressing the UN's commitment to supporting Malawi's development agenda, Adda-Dontoh emphasized the transformative role of education as a key SDG transition pathway. She highlighted Malawi's prominence in the African Union's Year of Education and its upcoming participation in global education summits like Summit of the Future in 2024. In response, President Chakwera expressed heartfelt gratitude for the UN's unwavering support in advancing Malawi's development aspirations. He underscored the practical significance of the partnership forged, rooted in shared values and a common vision for progress. "In embracing the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, we reaffirm our dedication to the well-being and prosperity of all Malawians," affirmed President Chakwera. "Our partnership with the UN is not merely symbolic but practical, underscored by our joint commitment to translating policies into tangible outcomes." The President outlined Malawi's strategic priorities, stressing the imperative of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development across key sectors such as agriculture, mining, trade and tourism. He further confirmed the alignment of the Cooperation Framework priorities with the government's own development priorities, emphasizing the synergy between the two agendas in driving progress for Malawi. His words echoed a sense of urgency, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to address the nation's multifaceted challenges. With mutual determination and a shared vision for progress, the meeting concluded on a note of optimism. Both parties pledged to work hand in hand, leveraging the UNSDCF as a guiding framework to propel Malawi towards a brighter and more prosperous future.