DAVOS, Switzerland – Tim Hanstad, CEO of the Chandler Foundation, met with President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi last week during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss how the Chandler Institute of Governance and the Chandler Foundation would continue to support President Chakwera’s anti-corruption and civil service reform agendas for the African nation.
Immediately upon election in June 2020, President Chakwera declared fighting corruption as a primary pillar of his administration. As part of these reform efforts, Malawi’s most senior anti-corruption official, Martha Chizuma, Director General of the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau, serves as one of 15 active members of the Chandler Sessions on Integrity and Corruption at Oxford University. The Chandler Sessions are a three-year programme sponsored by the Chandler Foundation to convene senior leaders, academics, and other anti-corruption experts from around the world in Oxford, England to share and debate effective policy measures, and co-develop and test strategies to reform entrenched corruption across participating countries. The next convening of the sessions will be in July 2022. Each member of the Chandler Sessions will co-author a paper detailing ideas and practices to transform and advance the field.
Chizuma has gained international attention for being one of the world’s fiercest and youngest anti-corruption champions. In December 2021, as part of the Summit for Democracy, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken recognised Chizuma as an international “Anti-Corruption Champion,” celebrating her courageous commitment to justice despite “threats, harassment, and smear campaigns.”
In January 2022, President Chakwera dissolved and reconstituted his cabinet largely due to anti-corruption investigations instigated by Chizuma. As Chizuma observed, “corruption fights are complex and risky and … corruption fights back ruthlessly. But the conviction that the fate of this country largely depends on what we decide and actually do about corruption as a country keeps us pushing forward and I don’t think we have any other option, but to fight it.”
The Chandler Foundation also supports a number of programme partners promoting governance reforms in Malawi. The Government of Malawi is a member of the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and engages with one of Open Contracting Partnership’s collaborators, CoST Malawi, to improve governance in the mining and construction sectors.
The media in Malawi provided positive coverage of the meeting between President Chakwera and Hanstad, with the Malawiana Times publishing a summarising piece. Both parties agreed to continue discussions later in the year in Malawi.