Foreign relations of Malawi

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Nations with which Malawi has diplomatic relations. Diplomatic relations of Malawi.svg
Nations with which Malawi has diplomatic relations.

Malawi's former President Bakili Muluzi continued the pro-Western foreign policy established by his predecessor, Hastings Banda. It maintains excellent diplomatic relations with principal Western countries. Malawi's close relations with South Africa throughout the apartheid era strained its relations with other African nations. Following the collapse of apartheid in 1994, Malawi developed, and currently maintains, strong diplomatic relations with all African countries.

Contents

Bilateral donors

Important bilateral donors include Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Republic of China (Taiwan), the United Kingdom, and the United States. Multilateral donors include the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations organizations.

SADC

Malawi assumed the chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2001. Muluzi took an active role in SADC on issues such as the global coalition against terrorism and land reform in Zimbabwe.

ACP

Malawi has been a member of the ACP group since Lomé I and is also a party to the Cotonou agreement, the partnership agreement between the European Community/European Union and 77 states from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Memberships in international organizations

Malawi is a member of the following international organizations: the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations and some of its specialized and related agencies (i.e. UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO), IMF, World Bank, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Berne Convention, Universal Copyright Convention, Organization of African Unity (OAU), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Lome Convention, African Development Bank (AFDB), Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Non-Aligned Movement, G-77, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Malawi is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98).

Bilateral Relations

CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania 11 July 1985

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 11 July 1985 [1]

Flag of Angola.svg  Angola 9 November 1993Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 November 1993 [2]
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 11 March 1999Both countries established diplomatic relations on 11 March 1999 [3]
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia 20 January 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 January 2012. [4]

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1981
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 6 December 1965Both countries established diplomatic relations on 6 December 1965 [6]
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 21 May 2004 [7] Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Malawi were established on May 21, 2004. [7]
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 9 June 1998 [8] See Bahrain–Malawi relations
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus 13 July 2001Both countries established diplomatic relations on 13 July 2001 [9]
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 18 October 2011Both countries established diplomatic relations on 18 October 2011 [10]
Flag of Botswana.svg  Botswana 1 July 1967

Both countries are full members of the Southern African Development Community, Commonwealth of Nations and of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 23 November 1994Both countries established diplomatic relations on 23 November 1994 [11]
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia 20 July 2011Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 July 2011 [12]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 12 February 1974 [13]
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 28 December 2007 [15]

Hastings Banda recognized the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1967. In January 2008, Malawi switched this recognition to the People's Republic of China.

Since 2008 there has been a significant shift by the Malawian government towards accepting investment from China. [16] Potentially this may be part of a wider power struggle between the East and West in Africa. [17]

Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 30 March 1998Both countries established diplomatic relations on 30 March 1998 [18]
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 13 November 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 13 November 1998. [19] [20]

Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 10 December 1997Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 December 1997 [21]
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 22 June 2000
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 1964
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 1 May 1986Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 May 1986 [23]
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 19 September 2011

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 19 September 2011. [24]

Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 6 July 1964Both countries established diplomatic relations on 6 July 1964 [25]
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 8 July 1964Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 July 1964 [26]
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece
Flag of India.svg  India See India–Malawi relations
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 15 July 1964 [28] See Israel–Malawi relations
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan July 1964

Both countries established diplomatic relations in July 1964. [29]

Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 23 June 1999Both countries established diplomatic relations on 23 June 1999 [30]
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 28 September 1965Both countries established diplomatic relations on 28 September 1965 [31]
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 20 July 2016Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 July 2016. [32] Kosovo and Malawi enjoy excellent relationships.
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 10 September 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 September 1998. [33]

Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 18 November 2001

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 18 November 2001. [34]

Flag of Mauritius.svg  Mauritius 9 February 2001Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 February 2001 [35]
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 10 December 1998Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 December 1998 [36]
  • Malawi is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States. [37]
  • Mexico is accredited to Malawi from its embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. [38]
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia 21 December 2011

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 21 December 2011. [39]

Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro 16 September 2011Both countries established diplomatic relations on 16 September 2011 [40]
Flag of Mozambique.svg  Mozambique 1 July 1981 [41] See Malawi-Mozambique relations

Between 1985 and 1995, Malawi accommodated more than a million refugees from Mozambique. The refugee crisis placed a substantial strain on Malawi's economy but also drew significant inflows of international assistance. The accommodation and eventual repatriation of the Mozambicans is considered a major success by international organizations.

Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 21 March 1990Both countries established diplomatic relations on 21 March 1990 [42]
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 16 December 1965Both countries established diplomatic relations on 16 December 1965 [6]
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 29 November 1969Both countries established diplomatic relations on 29 November 1969 [43]
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea 25 June 1982

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 25 June 1982. [44]

Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia 27 September 1999Both countries established diplomatic relations on 27 September 1999 [45]
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 9 March 1965Both countries established diplomatic relations on 9 March 1965 [46]
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 7 December 2016Both countries established diplomatic relations on 7 December 2016 [47]
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 14 August 1965

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 14 August 1965. Pakistan and Malawi are both members of the Commonwealth of Nations

Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 3 May 2001 [48]

Neither country has an embassy in each other's territories. The Philippines's embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, is accredited to Malawi; on the other hand, Malawi's embassy in Tokyo, Japan, is accredited to the Philippines.

As of 25 May 2018, the date of presentation of credentials of Philippine non-resident ambassador Uriel Norman Garibay to President Arthur Peter Mutharika, there are 41 Filipino nationals residing in Malawi, mainly in Blantyre and Lilongwe. [49]

Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 10 July 1992 [50] See Malawi–Poland relations
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 15 July 1985

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 July 1985. [51]

Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 2 November 1993Both countries established diplomatic relations on 2 November 1993 [52]
Flag of Rwanda.svg  Rwanda

In 1996, Malawi received a number of Rwandan and Congolese refugees seeking asylum. The government did not turn away refugees, but it did invoke the principle of "first country of asylum." Under this principle, refugees who requested asylum in another country first, or who had the opportunity to do so would not subsequently be granted asylum in Malawi. There were no reports of the forcible repatriation of refugees.

Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 14 November 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 14 November 1998. [53]

Flag of Seychelles.svg  Seychelles 22 May 2001Both countries established diplomatic relations on 22 May 2001 [54]
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 24 August 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 24 August 1998. [55]

Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 21 July 2011Both countries established diplomatic relations on 21 July 2011 [56]
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 10 September 1967 [57] See Malawi–South Africa relations

South Africa's first formal relationship with an independent African country was established with Malawi, beginning in 1967. [58]

The colonial structures of Malawian labour export to South African mines continued after Malawi achieved independence in 1964. Led by dictator Hastings Banda, Malawi was the only African country to maintain close relations with White-ruled South Africa until the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela. Malawians were viewed as important workers in the South African mines due to their "skills, work discipline and lack of militancy" [59] From 1988 to 1992, around 13,000 Malawian migrant laborers were forcefully repatriated out of South Africa. Officially, this was because 200 Malawians had tested positive for HIV in the previous two years, but many believe that it was due to the need for retrenchment of laborers during a crisis in South Africa's mining industry. [59]

Since South Africa and Malawi had their first democratic elections in 1994, Malawi and South Africa have enhanced relations. In 2008, the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to enhance the relationship between the two countries through enhanced security cooperation. [60]

Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 9 March 1965

Establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Malawi was on 9 March 1965. [61] In 2011 Bilateral Trade between both nations totaled US$31 million. [62]

Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan 26 September 2011Both countries established diplomatic relations on 26 September 2011 [63]
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 27 October 1972 [64] See Malawi–Spain relations
Flag of Tanzania.svg  Tanzania 16 May 1985 [65]

Malawi has a dispute with Tanzania over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi).

Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 1 June 1987Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 June 1987 [66]
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago 21 April 1998Both countries established diplomatic relations on 21 April 1998 [67]
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 6 August 1969Both countries established diplomatic relations on 6 August 1969 [43]
  • Embassy of Malawi in Berlin is accredited to Turkey. [68]
  • Turkish Embassy in Lusaka is accredited to Malawi. [68]
  • Trade volume between the two countries was US$21 million in 2019 (Malawi's exports/imports: 16.4/4.67 million USD). [68]
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan 20 February 1998Both countries established diplomatic relations on 20 February 1998 [69]
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 22 December 1998Both countries established diplomatic relations on 22 December 1998 [70]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 6 July 1964See Malawi–United Kingdom relations

Historical ties make the UK historically one of the more important donors and supporters of Malawi. However, the expulsion of the UK's High Commissioner in April 2011 may change this relationship. Since the expulsion the UK has suspended direct government aid, [71] citing concerns over governance and human rights.

Flag of the United States.svg  United States 6 July 1964 [72] See Malawi–United States relations

The transition from a one-party state to a multi-party democracy significantly strengthened the already cordial U.S. relationship with Malawi. Significant numbers of Malawians study in the United States. The United States has an active Peace Corps program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, and an Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Malawi.

In July 2011, the United States suspended direct funding. The US government agency responsible, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, suspended aid because it was 'deeply upset' by the deaths of the 19 people during the July protests. [73]

Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 31 January 2007Both countries established diplomatic relations on 31 January 2007 [74]
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia 15 September 1970Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 September 1970 [75]

Malawi and the Commonwealth of Nations

Malawi became a full member of the Commonwealth on independence from the United Kingdom in 1964. Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, was Queen of Malawi, represented by the Governor-General of Malawi, until the country became a republic in the Commonwealth of Nations in 1966, when the then Prime Minister of Malawi, Hastings Banda, declared himself the first President of Malawi.

See also

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