A LONG-TERM agreement could improve the standard of living for both Scotland and Malawi, the Scottish Parliament was told.

Professor Ian Gillespie, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Dundee, said that the co-development of continual academic connections between the two nations could allow experts to address mutual challenges and further develop cultural ties.

Professor Gillespie – accompanied remotely by the vice-chancellors of all six public Malawian universities – was addressing members of Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Malawi, around the University’s Africa Initiative, in particular the Blantyre Declaration, which is a shared agreement to co-develop research and cultural links with Malawi. 

He said: “Our commitment to sharing knowledge throughout the world at the heart of our recently launched Africa Initiative, a ten-year commitment that has already seen us establish new and exciting partnerships with six universities in Malawi.

“The exchange of knowledge and the creation of exciting collaborations and opportunities through these relationships bring mutual benefits and are potentially transformative.

“We have just launched a new doctoral scheme, co-designed with partners to address shared priorities in areas of mutual strength and look forward to bringing more initiatives in the coming months.

“Our own University strategy reinforces our commitment to social purpose through learning and teaching, research, and engagement and enterprise. Nothing demonstrates our dedication to these aims more than our work with our partners in Malawi.

“Issues such as climate change and healthcare delivery know no borders and the Blantyre Declaration will be the cornerstone of an equitable partnership and agreement that demonstrates the shared commitment of all signatories to empower individuals both in Scotland and Malawi, to build a better future for us all.”