Lord Provost leads tributes as Malawi VIPs honoured

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VIPs from Malawi have been honoured at a ceremony hosted by Edinburgh's Lord Provost, Lesley Hinds.

The event at the City Chambers was part of an initiative to forge links between Scotland and the troubled African nation.

The delegates, who were led by Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika, also visited Glasgow during their time in Scotland.

They had come to the country to attend a conference run by the Scotland Malawi Partnership, which is aimed at raising awareness of Malawi's needs.

As joint patron of the partnership, Ms Hinds also chaired a health seminar, which was attended by Malawi's health minister, Dr Hetherwick Ntaba.

Discussion focused on co-operation in areas of training, maternal health and HIV and Aids. Ms Hinds said: "I feel the Scotland Malawi Partnership can help to capture the goodwill that already exists between Scotland and Malawi.

"I hope this conference will lead to real projects and co-operation that will benefit not only the people of Malawi but the people in Scotland as well, because I believe that this should be a partnership in the real sense of the word."

The partnership evolved from the Malawi Millennium Project, an umbrella body of organisations and individuals working to provide support and aid to Malawi.

It aims to sustain and co-ordinate voluntary action for Malawi across Scotland - particularly in the areas of education, health, infrastructure and agriculture.