Scots singer and humanitarian Annie Lennox marked the fifth anniversary of the Co-operation Agreement between Scotland and Malawi by becoming the first person to sign the SMP’s Malawi pledge promising to develop the unique friendship.
Annie Lennox who was recently named as the Barclays Women of the Year for her work on HIV/AIDS and women in the developing world, said she is proud to be part of partnership.
“As a woman and mother, I understand very well the importance of good medical care, education, and fundamental human rights. In developing countries however, these things are not a given, particularly in the case of women and young girls.
“Extreme and chronic poverty underscores everything. Through my visits to African townships, hospitals, orphanages and rural areas, I started to get a better understanding of what life is like outside my own Western comfort zone.
“There is absolutely no comparison between the type of poverty that exists in the West, and the grinding, endemic poverty experienced by those people living in countries like Sub Saharan Africa. In a climate of global economic downturn, those who are most vulnerable to the impact are the world’s poorest.
“This is why I fully endorse the continuation of partnership between Scotland and Malawi. I want to support and engage with the issues of women and girls beyond my own horizons. We are citizens of the world, and we CAN make a difference and contribution to positive change. I’m proud to be part of the Scottish Malawian partnership.”
Other leading Scots and Malawians who have signed the Malawi pledge include the Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, and Rt Hon Jack McConnell MSP who renewed the historic friendship when he signed the Co-operation Agreement with Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on 3rd November 2005.
He said: “I believe that the partnership between Scotland and Malawi is a very powerful, unique model of development. It is about the power of people, not institutions.
“There are thousands of Scots, from primary school pupils to top surgeons all making a contribution to Malawi’s future. Their hard work and commitment makes me very proud of my country.”
Fiona Hyslop, who visited Malawi in February said:
“As we reach the fifth anniversary of our Co-operation Agreement with the Government of Malawi, the relationship between Scotland and the people of Malawi goes from strength to strength.
“Links between Malawian and Scottish civic society continue to flourish with young and old, from all walks of life, contributing to the global fight against poverty and helping Malawians to help themselves.”
And the Government of Malawi’s envoy to the UK, Professor Moto said: “The Government and the people of Malawi greatly value the partnership that exists between Malawi and Scotland for the continued benefit of the peoples of the two nations.”
ANYONE IS NOW WELCOME TO ADD THEIR NAME TO THE MALAWI PLEDGE BY EMAILING THE SCOTLAND MALAWI PARTNERSHIP AND STATING THEIR NAME AND (IF APPLICABLE) THEIR ORGANISATION. OVER THE COMING MONTHS THE SCOTLAND MALAWI PARTNERSHIP WILL BE INVITING THE 85,000 SCOTS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN MALAWI-LINKS TO SIGN THE MALAWI PLEDGE.