Diaspora Overview

The Malawi Government initiated the Diaspora Engagement Programme in 2012, and established the Diaspora Affairs Unit in the Ministry Cooperation, to manage the programme. The Unit is headed by a Coordinator who is supported by Foreign Service Officers.


The initiative was made upon the realisation that Malawi has a significant community of Diaspora with a diversity of recourses which could be harnessed to develop the country. Despite the existence of this Diaspora, there was no coordinated effort to take the Diaspora on board to assist in national development initiatives, hence the need for a formal programme of engagement. The definition of Malawian Diaspora includes the Malawian citizens, collectively, residing outside the country for an indefinite period of time whether for employment, business, education or any other purpose as well as persons of Malawian origin residing outside the country, holding citizenship of another country but still having interests in Malawi.


The overall objective of the Diaspora Engagement Programme is to incorporate the Diasporas into Malawi’s development initiatives through:

In order to meet the overall objective the programme will create a mutually beneficial relationship between Malawi and her Diaspora. This will be achieved by:


The Diaspora Affairs Unit which is mandated to manage the Programme, will among other functions be doing the following:

¡  Initiate the formulation of a national Diaspora Policy;

ž  Develop a Strategy for engaging the Malawian Diaspora;

ž  Coordinate Government efforts for the establishment of sustainable relationship with the Diaspora

ž  Mobilise the involvement of the Diaspora in Malawi’s development agenda

ž  Develop and maintain an up-to-date database of Malawians in the Diaspora

ž  Facilitate access by the Diaspora, to accurate and reliable information on national developments

ž  Coordinate with relevant stakeholders in delivering services to the Diaspora (e.g the Banks)

ž  Identify investment and other business opportunities and attract the Diaspora to invest in Malawi

ž  Facilitate the protection of Malawian Diaspora in their countries of residence




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