On Tuesday 7 November the launch of the fourth Flanders-Malawi Country Strategy Paper for International Cooperation (CSP IV) for 2024-2028 took place in Lilongwe, Malawi. The launch was hosted by the General Representative of Flanders in Southern Africa, Dr. Geraldine Reymenants, and Deputy General Representative for Malawi, Laurijn Van Steenbergen, accompanied by policy experts from the Flanders Chancellery and Foreign Office. Guest of honour was the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale, MP.
The fourth Flanders-Malawi CSP is the result of a joint consultation process between the Governments of Malawi and Flanders, and aligns with Malawi's Vision 2063, the roadmap of the Malawian Government to build a more prosperous, climate-resilient and self-reliant Malawi. The cooperation programme will focus on promoting linkages between secondary cities and their rural surroundings, on agricultural commercialisation, and on climate-smart agriculture.
The launch event on 7 November provided the opportunity to take a closer look at the CSP IV focal areas for the coming years. In this framework, a panel discussion took place on the role of rural-urban linkages in fostering inclusive and sustainable food systems and rural transformation. Experts from the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture, the National Planning Commission, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and representatives from the private sector (Tradeline) delved deeper into the first pillar of the new CSP, being urbanisation/secondary city development and the link to agriculture. The CSP was then officially launched by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale.
As part of the broader programme, the Flemish delegation also met with the Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture, Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda, and the Minister of Trade & Industry, Hon. Sosten Gwengwe, as well as with the Malawi Human Rights Commission, and engaged with development partners such as the EU Delegation in Malawi, the World Bank and FAO. The delegation furthermore visited a project of Plan International Malawi, funded by Flanders, aiming at supporting farmers to get access to inclusive and well-functioning markets to sell their produce in the Mzimba and Kasungu districts.