Empowering Citizen Forums: A Key to Accountability and Development in Malawi

By Twink Jones Gadama

In a bid to drive progress and development within communities in Malawi, the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust has urged citizen forums in the country to actively engage with duty bearers to ensure accountability for their actions. This initiative aims to help the nation reach its development goals by fostering transparency, promoting responsible governance, and ultimately contributing to the overall advancement of the country.

The call for increased engagement between citizen forums and duty bearers was emphasized by Alinafe Chikakuda, a Civic Education expert in Dowa District. Chikakuda highlighted the importance of holding duty bearers accountable through regular interactions, stating that this proactive approach is key to driving progress and development within communities. By actively engaging with duty bearers, citizen forums can ensure that the needs and concerns of the community are heard and addressed, leading to more effective governance and improved service delivery.


One such example of citizen engagement in action was seen at a recent Citizen Forum meeting held in Mponela under Traditional Authority Mponela in Dowa District. The forum members, led by Chikakuda, discussed various issues affecting their community and worked together to come up with solutions that could be presented to duty bearers. This collaborative approach not only increases transparency and accountability but also empowers citizens to be actively involved in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Jericho Chinkhadze, the chairperson of the Chilima Citizen Forum, expressed gratitude towards Dowa NICE for their interventions and support in facilitating these important discussions. The partnership between citizen forums and organizations like NICE is crucial in ensuring that communities have the necessary tools and resources to advocate for their rights and hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.

By empowering citizen forums to engage with duty bearers and advocate for their needs, Malawi is taking a significant step towards achieving its development goals. This grassroots approach to governance not only strengthens the relationship between citizens and their leaders but also ensures that development priorities are aligned with the needs of the community.

The proactive engagement of citizen forums with duty bearers is a vital step towards achieving accountability and development in Malawi. By fostering transparency, promoting responsible governance, and empowering communities to take an active role in decision-making processes, we can work towards a brighter future for all Malawians. It is through initiatives like these that we can build a more inclusive and prosperous nation, where every citizen has a voice and a stake in shaping the future of their country.