President of Malawi to make first official visit as Head of State to the Scottish Parliament


Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi, will make her first official visit as Head of State to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 19 March.

The visit, which coincides with the David Livingstone bicentenary celebrations, will include an address by the President of Malawi to MSPs, invited guests and members of the public.

Presiding Officer Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, who will officially welcome the President to the Parliament, said:

“The Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly of Malawi have enjoyed a positive and constructive working relationship over the years. President Banda has been an inspirational figure, a lifelong commitment to women’s rights and educational opportunities for all have culminated in her being elected as the first female Head of State in southern Africa. It will be my great pleasure to welcome President Banda to Holyrood.”

On Friday 15 March, Sarah Boyack MSP and former Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Alex Fergusson MSP began a five day programme to Malawi, as part of the Scottish Parliament’s on-going links with Malawi. During the visit, they will deliver a workshop at the National Assembly on budget scrutiny based on the Scottish Parliament’s model. The MSPs will also visit the constituencies of their ‘Parliamentary Pairs’, discuss with MPs the role of parliamentarians in scrutinising policies to address climate change, and they will participate in David Livingstone bicentenary events in Lilongwe and Nkhata Bay.

The Scottish Parliament will in turn welcome two Malawian MPs for a week-long visit. Albert Thindwa MP and Kaphamtengo Yona MP will support the Presidential visit and meet with their ‘Parliamentary Pairs’, Christina McKelvie MSP and Dr Richard Simpson MSP. As part of their programme, they will observe Parliamentary proceedings and travel to the MSPs’ constituencies to see the case work undertaken by Members.

Further strengthening of links between the two Parliaments is also planned when the Scottish Parliament welcomes two Malawian Assembly officials on Monday 4 March – a committee clerk and an official from the Speaker’s office. During their month long visit, the officials will be supported and coached by Parliament staff and undertake a range of activities in the Scottish Parliament relevant to their roles in the National Assembly.

President Banda’s address will be webcast live on the Scottish Parliament’s website at 11:30.


President Banda visited Holyrood in November 2006 in her capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time.

Previous visits by international Heads of State have included:

  • November 2006 – President Kaczyński of Poland
  • July 2006 – President Adamkus of Lithuania
  • July 2006 – President Rüütel of Estonia
  • November 2005 – President Mutharika of Malawi
  • January 2005 – President Marović of Serbia & Montenegro
  • February 2002 – President Sampaio of Portugal
  • June 2001 – President Mbeki of South Africa
  • May 2000 – President Muluzi of Malawi
  • September 2000 – President Rawlings of Ghana

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