About Us Bilateral Relations

High Commission of India

India-Malawi Bilateral Relations

India and Malawi shares cordial and friendly bilateral relations. India established diplomatic relations with Malawi immediately after Malawi’s Independence in 1964.  Subsequently, a resident Mission in Malawi was established, however, due to some administrative reasons, the High Commission in Malawi was closed in 1993, though India continued to have diplomatic relations with Malawi. Malawi was concurrently accredited to our Mission in Zambia until February 2012. The resident mission was re-opened in March, 2012. Malawi opened its Mission in Delhi in February, 2007.

A. VVIP Visits

The bilateral relations between India and Malawi has been further strengthened through regular high level exchanges. Some of the important bilateral visits took place recently are the following:

(i) Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Hon’ble Vice President of India visited Malawi from 7-9 January 2010.
(ii) Late Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi visited India from 2-7 November 2010.
(iii) Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of Malawi  visited India from 25-27 March 2018.
(iv) Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India visited Malawi from 4-5 November 2018.
(v) Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs visited Malawi from 08-10 June 2022.

B. Capacity Building

(i) India is participating significantly in the human resource development of Malawi. India provides approximately 40 scholarships to Malawian students to pursue higher studies  in India every year.  Government of India also provide 130 slots every year to Malawi under ITEC Programme. So far, more than 800 Malawian nationals from both government and private sectors have been trained in India in various fields since 2008. In addition, 32 Malawi Defence officials have been trained under ITEC Programme and UN Peacekeeping Training programme since 2017.

(ii) Similarly, more than 100 students from Malawi have pursued their higher education in various universities in India under Africa Scholarship Scheme and India-Africa Forum Summit Training programme.

(iii) Pan-African E-Network : The multi-million dollar Pan-African E-Network project was set up at Chancellor College in Zomba, Malawi. The Project commenced in August 2010 and concluded in March 2017. The programme was successful and more than 2,000 Malawians benefited under this programme.

Since the new E-Vidya Bharati Aarogya Bharati (E-VBAB) project has been launched by Government of India in January 2020, more than 1600 students have been awarded scholarship to pursue short-term, under-graduation and post-graduation courses.

C. Development Partnership:

(a)  Lines of Credit:

Since 2008, India has extended LoC worth US$ 395.68 mn for Malawi for various infrastructure development projects. Projects worth US$ 180 mn including Sugar Factory in Salima; 60 mn litre capacity Fuel Storage Facilities in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu; Cotton Ginneries in Ngabu, Ngara and Balaka; Dal Processing Plants in Liwonde and Luchenza, etc., have been completed. 

In November 2018, Hon’ble Vice President of India during the visit to Malawi, announced a new LoC of US$ 215.68 million for drinking water supply schemes in Malawi. The LoC agreement was signed between Government of Malawi and EXIM Bank on 12 June 2020 and works related to the projects have commenced last year.

(b) Grants:

(i) During the visit of Vice President of India to Malawi in January 2010, a  grant of US $ 5 million was offered to Malawi - Science & Laboratory equipment worth US$ 1.5 million and medical equipment worth US$ 1.5 million consisting of mammography and ultra-sound machines were donated to Malawi government. US$1 million worth of agricultural implements supplied by India were handed over in August 2015 to Government of Malawi.  In July 2015, a grant of US$1 million worth of essential medicines and drugs were handed over to Government of Malawi towards disaster relief operations in 2015. The GoI has also extended another grant of US$ 1 million in response to an international Appeal declaring Malawi on “State of Disaster” by President of Malawi in 2016.

(ii)   In 2020, Government of India gifted 1,000 MT of Rice in response to request for Aid due to failure of crop.

(iii)  During the visit of Hon’ble Vice President of India to Malawi in November 2018, the following grants were announced: (i) Bhabhatron Cancer treatment machine - Government of India has completed the formalities for supply of the machine and awaiting completion of the logistical arrangements for supply of the machine; (ii) Medicines worth US$ 2 million – The medicines were handed over to Government of Malawi in July 2020; (iii) 10 ambulances – Ambulances were handed over to Government of Malawi in February 2020 (iv) 100,000 text books for Malawi schools – The books were handed over to Government of Malawi in February 2020.

(iv)  The Government of India under its “India for Humanity” initiative launched Artificial Limbs Fitment Camp in Lilongwe at Kamuzu Central Hospital.  The Vice President of India inaugurated the camp in which  551 Malawians were fitted with artificial limbs.

(v)   As part of Covid-19 assistance, India gifted 50,000 doses of India-made Covid vaccine in March 2021. In September 2021, India gifted Covid related essential medicines and PPE material worth US$ 1.4 mn.

(vi)   During his visit in June 2022, Shri V. Muraleedharan, MoS, announced gifting of 200 laptops to the Members of Parliament of Malawi which were handed over to Parliament of Malawi in November 2022. Another announcement of  gifting of Anti-cancer medicine worth US$ 1.4 million was also made.

(vii)   Business Incubation Centre (BIC): India has established a Business Incubation Centre worth US $ 1 million in Malawi to provide short term training in processing of Tomato, Mangoes and cassava.  The Center also has facilities to train students in semi-precious stone cutting and polishing techniques; compost processing unit and briquette unit.  A group of 14 Master Trainers were trained by Indian experts. The Business Incubation Centre was inaugurated in November 2018 by Hon’ble Vice President of India and handed over to Government of Malawi in January 2019 after completion.

(c)   Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (C-TAP): The C-TAP Programme was started by India in 2012 for African countries including Malawi.  Under the programme, 200 participants and 25 trainers from Malawi were trained through regional training and exposure visits to India. GoI has also set up and handed over the ‘Skill School for Apparel Manufacturing’ with 20 Industrial Sewing Machines and Cutting equipments to Government of Malawi in September 2016 and the facility has the capacity to train 20 Malawians at a time.

D. Commercial Relations: India-Malawi trade relations are historic and dates back to 18th century coinciding with the arrival of Indian tradesmen, mainly from Gujarat to the African sub-continent. Malawi as an LDC, is also a beneficiary under GoI’s Duty Free Tariff Preference scheme introduced in April 2008. Recently, GoI has removed the Quota for import of Pigeon Peas from Malawi until 2024. The bilateral trade between India and Malawi has been growing and as per 2021-22 data the bilateral trade stands at US$256.41 million (approx) despite Covid pandemic related slow down. India is also one of the largest investors in Malawi with over US$500 million worth investment.

E. Cooperation in Mining: India and Malawi have have been cooperating in the field of mining. Both countries have signed an MoU on “Cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources Development” in 2010.  Under the MoU, Joint Working Group (JWG) has been established and so far 2 meetings of the JWG have been held.

F. Cooperation in Power sector:  In May 2020, an MoU was signed between EGENCO, the Malawi Power generation company and NTPC, the public sector Indian company, for cooperation in power generation. Malawi has a huge power deficit and only around 11% of the population has access to electricity.

G. International Solar Alliance: Malawi was one of early countries who signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement in November, 2017. Mr Aggrey Masi, Minister for Natural Resources, Energy and Mining represented Malawi at ISA Founding Conference held on 11 March, 2018 in New Delhi. In October 2021, ISA has granted US$ 50,000 to solarise the Malawian Parliament building.

H. Cultural Relations : The High Commission of India in coordination with the Indian diaspora in Malawi celebrate most of the prominent Indian festivals where members of the diplomatic community and local Malawians are also invited. Mission also organizes events for specific states to showcase culture, language, traditions, music, tourism, cuisine, etc. specific to those states. Through Mission’s newsletters and social media handles, Indian cultural events and activities are widely publicized. In order to popularize the Indian culture, Mission has been arranging visit of ICCR troupes to Malawi. In past, troupes have visited in 2014, 2017, 2018. In September/October 2019, a 10 member Cultural Troupe from Gujarat visited Malawi and gave three performances in Lilongwe.

A 15-member Malawi Cultural Troupe was sponsored by Government of India to participate in the Suraj Kund Mela in 2020.

I. Indian Community/PIO : It is estimated that about 8,500 Persons of Indian origin live in Malawi who predominantly originated from Gujarat and are concentrated in important cities like Lilongwe, Blantyre, Limbe, Zomba and Mzuzu. The initial flow of Indians to Malawi was after Malawi became a British Protectorate in 1891. Indians were brought to Malawi/Mozambique for the Rail Project that was set up between Mozambique and Malawi. The number of Indian nationals (NRIs) at present is about 2,500, majority of them are from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, primarily engaged in trading, agriculture and agro business, pharmaceutical, hospitality, besides a few professionals.

There are about 15 Indian community associations in Malawi. High Commission keeps regular interaction with these Indian associations. All important information for the diaspora is disseminated through these associations and the members of the associations are invited on all official events organized by the High Commission, including the events related to development partnership initiatives of India in Malawi.

February 2023