France and Malawi

Political relations and visits

Our embassy in Lilongwe was closed in 1996. France’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe is also accredited to the authorities of Malawi.

Political relations are cordial but limited. President Bingu Mutharika participated in the Africa-France Summits of 2005, 2007 and 2010. Malawi was represented at the 2013 Africa-France Summit by the Malawian High-Commissioner to the United Kingdom, but was not represented at the Bamako Summit in January 2017.

Economic relations

Economic relations between France and Malawi are limited and have fallen sharply (€14 million in trade in 2017, as against €57 million in 2014). France had a trade surplus with Malawi of €9 million in 2017, having had a deficit of €2 million in 2015. France’s exports (€12 million in 2017, compared to €44 million in 2014) are mainly made up of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics (73%) and mechanical equipment (22%). France imports cereals, sugar and manufactured tobacco. Several French companies are present in Malawi. Lafarge, Total, CFAO, CMA-CGM, Bolloré Logistics, AGS, SDV.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

French assistance to Malawi flows through multilateral channels (France is the second-largest contributor to the European Development Fund and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), and financing, by means of a debt relief and development contract signed in 2011, a cartographic inventory of the country’s mining resources (GEMMAP) entrusted to the French geological survey BRGM in consortium with the geological services of South Africa (GTS) and Finland (GTK). Malawi has identified the mining sector as a pillar of its future growth.

Updated: November 2018