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Message from the Chief Representative

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Malawi is a landlocked country that is located in Southern part of Africa with a size of about one third of Japan and has a population of about 19 million people . Lake Malawi, which covers more than 20% of the country, is well known for its abundance of endemic species and has been registered as a World Heritage Site. The country may not be familiar to many people in Japan, but it has hosted the largest number of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) in the world since 1971 and in 2021, JICA commemorated 50 years of dispatching volunteers to Malawi. Kamuzu International Airport, the gateway to the country, was constructed in 1981 and was later expanded in 2019 with assistance from the Japanese Government. A cumulative total number of more than 3,000 Malawians have participated in trainings in Japan through the JICA Training Program which is currently termed Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP). Malawi and Japan's long history of development cooperation in a variety of areas of expertise and cultural exchange has led to a high level of trust and positive perception of Japan and Japanese Cooperation amongst the people of Malawi.

Malawi has not experienced a civil war since its independence in 1964, and is often referred to as "The Warm Heart of Africa" due to the peaceful nature of its people. In the June 2019 presidential election, protests alleging electoral fraud intensified and a constitutional court ruled that a fresh election had to be held, which resulted in upsetting victory in favour of the opposition candidate, President Lazarus Chakwera who is currently the president of Malawi. Although the country has a peaceful history, its economic and social development lags behind and it is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than 80% of the population is engage in agriculture as their major source of income. All in all, the majority are small-scale farmers who are extremely vulnerable to poor weather conditions and price fluctuations, and it is essential for the country to move away from dependence on tobacco as a major export crop and to increase agricultural productivity and intensifying the use of agricultural machinery. In Malawi, infrastructure development and maintenance, such as transport, electricity and water supply, is still lagging behind. The level of education and health care in the country is also low hence there are several challenges that need to be tackled. In response to the challenges that the country is facing, JICA provides assistance through human resource development, technical cooperation and the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs), and infrastructure development. This is achieved through financial cooperation, based on the three pillars of "promoting the industrialization of agriculture", "fostering human resources for self-sustained growth", and "developing the infrastructure for growth with climate change and urbanization in mind".

I commenced my term of duty as a Chief Representative at JICA Malawi Office in June 2021 at the height of the COVID19 pandemic. As mentioned above the country is facing many challenges, but at the same time it is a country of potential vitality, where people are calm and about half the population is under eighteen years old. COVID19 has affected people's lives in many ways, and its impact will continue to be experienced. JICA, through assistance form the Japanese Government will continue to promote its cooperation with Malawi to assist in the development of the country and overcome the effects if COVID19, while keeping abreast of the various needs and changes emerging on the ground.

Malawi Office
Chief Representative
TAMBARA Kazuhiro

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