President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Friday officially opened a magnificent Lilongwe Institute of Orthopedic and Neurosurgery (LION) Hospital with a call to development partners to stop imposing projects on Malawians.
Chakwera observed that there is a tendency among developed countries to use their aid to colonize ‘poor and vulnerable countries’ like Malawi.
At this point, the President described Norwegian philanthropists, Mr. Trond Mohn and their partner Mrs. Åsta Otteren Ellingsen, who all contributed a lion’s share of the resources for the LION Hospital project, as true friends of Malawi.
“Your generosity to the People of Malawi has been true, steady, unimposing, and unpretentious. This is rare in today’s world. Here in Africa, it is common practice for donors from other nations to impose on us acts of charity that we did not ask for, or to announce to the world their donations to us for their own clout, or to publicize the amounts they have poured into our countries without any public accountability on how the money is spent, or to hide information about how much of the amounts allocated to Malawi actually reach beneficiaries and how much is spent by the donors themselves on their own operation,” he said.
He added that the project would not have been possible without the support from the contributions from the philanthropists.
But Chakwera was quick to clarify that he is not a proponent of Malawi becoming a country that does not welcome help from other nations, saying this position is not sustainable for the country.
He observed that there are global challenges that can only be resolved and addressed through multilateral collaboration and partnership, and that healthcare is one of them.
“Examples of this include the recent effort we had to make to stop the resurgence of polio when a polio case was found in our borders from an Asian country, and we had to work with our multilateral partners to preserve Malawi’s long-standing status as a polio-free country. Another example is the Covid-19 pandemic, which spread quickly around the world after its initial outbreak in China, and we would not have had access to medicines and vaccines for ending the pandemic in our nation without the generosity of other nations. So I am aware that global health concerns cannot be addressed without multilateral partnership and cooperation across the international community,” he said.