50 Years of German Diplomatic Presence in Malawi
Logo of the German Embassy in Lilongwe
On 3 February 2014 the German Embassy proudly celebrates 50 years of uninterrupted diplomatic presence in Malawi. On 3 February 1964 the first German Consulate opened in Blantyre. On 6 July 1964, the day Malawi declared its independence from colonial rule, the Consulate became the "Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany".
"This anniversary is a milestone in the history of our bilateral relations and for all of us cause for rejoicing," Ambassador Peter Woeste notes. "Malawi has ambitious aims for the next decades. We wish its government and people the drive, endurance and wisdom to build a peaceful and prosperous future."
Germany and Malawi are close partners and friends of long standing. Malawi’s first documented connection with Germany was Albert Roscher's visit to what was then known as Nyasaland in 1859. On his quest to establish trade links with Africa he became the first German to set eyes on Lake Malawi.
50 years ago Germany was one of the first countries to recognise independent Malawi. Since then many Germans have visited the warm heart of Africa. Some have stayed. Many have come to help. Today we look back also on half a century of German-Malawian development cooperation, which has gone from strength to strength over the years.
In 50 years of diplomatic relations Malawi and Germany have forged close and friendly ties. Germany will continue to support Malawi in its efforts to reduce poverty, provide a better life for all Malawians and achieve self-sustaining growth. No one should be condemned to a life of poverty. Everyone should be able to live in dignity and freedom.
"We’d hoped by now to be closer to some of these goals," Ambassador Woeste admits. After half a century of development cooperation, it was time to take stock of what has been achieved. "Has general budget assistance, for example, delivered what we thought it would? Wouldn’t less financial dependency on donors free up capacities that may have been too focused on securing a slice of the donor cake? Among friends, such candid words shouldn’t be a problem. Germany has never let the people of Malawi down when they needed our support. And nor will we do so in the future."
Malawian-German development cooperation has achieved remarkable progress in the health and education sector. In addition to continuing this support, Berlin is planning a new focus on boosting employment and income in rural areas. Germany will also step up its assistance in reforming public financial management, whose deficiencies have been clearly spotlighted by the cashgate scandal.
Germany was very pleased to assist Malawi in its transition 20 years ago from oneparty rule to democracy. "I’m absolutely convinced we will see free, fair and credible elections this year, and that Malawi will be a beacon of democracy in the region," Woeste emphasises.
Germany is keen to maintain its amicable and close relationship with Malawi and over the years ahead will continue to support the Malawian people on their path towards sustainable development.
Released: Lilongwe, 28.01.2014
German Embassy Lilongwe
- Press Office -
P.O. Box 30046
Tel.: +265-1-772555 / Fax: +265-1-770250