Good news is that the Irish government has pledged its continued support to Malawi in the areas of nutrition, enhance food security, though ‘crop productivity and diversification’ and good governance, according to Irish Aid’s report: “Malawi Country Strategy Paper 2010 – 2014″.
The paper shows that the Irish government support for these programmes will jump almost two-fold in 5 years; from €10.160 million in 2009 to €19.000 million in 2014. Bad news is that the paper has exposed a gap in Malawi government communications system. One of the programmes the Irish government and its partners are looking to assist in is the now postponed Local Government Elections. The strategy paper says:
Following the conduct of peaceful, well-organised presidential and parliamentary elections in 2009, Irish Aid, together with other development partners will assist the Malawi Electoral Commission with the local government elections planned for 2011. Support for these elections will be complemented by activities to strengthen the district assemblies and services through financing the Local Development Fund and the Local Government Service Charter.
The Irish government has provided support and assistance to Malawi since 2002. The Irish embassy was opened in the capital Lilongwe in 2007. This shows that other than financial support, the Irish have a very good presence in Malawi, which makes it even more bizarre that the Irish government is not aware (judging from this report) of the cancellation of the Local Government Elections. Among the 40+ Malawi cabinet ministers is a minister of information, and there is Office of President and Cabinet, shouldn’t people in these departments start earning their wages? Do we also need western folks to train us how to communicate?