The International Republican Institute (IRI) partnered with Center for Governance and Leadership (CEGOL) in hosting a Conference of Political Parties represented in the Malawi Parliament.

Officially opening the Conference at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe , USA Ambassador to Malawi, His Excellency David Young said the two-day conference was critical for Political Parties as it was a platform for strengthening democracy in Malawi. He then challenged the parties to seriously rethink strategies of addressing corruption in the Country.

CEGOL Executive Director, Chimwemwe Kaonga moderating a session during the Conference

Speaking during the Conference, Kimberly Smiddy, IRI’s Resident Program Director – Southern Africa, bemoaned capacity gaps in most political parties across the Southern Africa region. Said Kimberly, “overtime we have observed lapses in political parties functioning which has been backed by research. We have therefore organized this workshop to build capacity of political parties in Malawi so that they are able to effectively executive their mandate”.

Participants to the Political Parties Conference

Among key areas, the Conference covered: What makes effective political parties, Effective political communication, Key issues in Malawi’s political parties, Malawi’s youth in party politics, Political parties financing and the Political party act.

Chimwemwe Kaonga, Executive Director for Center for Governance and Leadership (CEGOL) hinted that leadership development in political parties is very crucial in sustaining the life span of political parties. “Political parties should consider supporting young leaders within political parties to find their leadership grip. Political leadership drives development, hence the need to place premium on it”, observed Kaonga

The Conference which was held under the theme “Building Effective Political Parties for Malawi’s Democracy”, attracted Directors of Elections, Campaign, Youth and Women as well Treasurer and Secretary Generals of political parties.

Participants to the Political Parties Conference take to a group photo

Alliance for Democracy (AFORD), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), People’s Party (PP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and United Transformative Movement (UTM) participated in the conference.

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