MISA Malawi was established in 1996 and started its operations in 1997. In September 2000, MISA Malawi was registered as a Non Governmental Organisation under the Trustees Incorporation Act under the name NAMISA.
Since its establishment, MISA MAlawi has implemented a number of projects with funding from local and international partners focusing on various fields such as elections, law review, economics, health and environment.
Through its activities, MISA Malawi has grown to establish itself as a reputable and authoritative source of information on media freedom and freedom of expression in the country and the region. Among other notable projects which MISA Malawi has successfully implemented include revival of the Media Council of Malawi (MCM) and the formation of the Journalists Union of Malawi (JUMA). MISA Malawi funded the initial national consultative meeting that conceptualised MCM’s revival. MISA Malawi also conceptualised and spearheaded the formation of JUMA.
Apart from the formation of these two institutions, MISA Malawi has successfully lobbied government:
- to repeal Section 46 of the Penal Code which empowered a Cabinet Minister to ban publications deemed “unsuitable” for Malawians
- to develop and adopt the National Access to Information Policy
- to adopt ATI legislation
- in organising a multi-stakeholder group to organise the country’s first ever presidential debates
- in passing the Communications Act passed in 2016
- in campaigning for broadcasting diversity – at the beginning of 2017, Malawi had 78 broadcasters from less than 10 in 2000.
But above all the notable achievements, MISA Malawi has managed to earn respect of the media fraternity as the most authoritative media body in the country with nearly 600 individual members – which is the highest in the region.
MISA Malawi has also irreversibly placed media law reform, media freedom and freedom of expression high on the policy agenda.