History Of Malawi

International Economic Symposium in Nyasaland, 18-28 July 1962

From 18-28 July 1962, an International Economic Symposium co-funded by the Ford Foundation and Government of Nyasaland, took place at Kwacha Conference Centre in Blantyre. Conceived, organised and chaired by Dunduzu Chisiza the then Deputy Minister (Parliamentary Secretary) of Finance, the aim of the Symposium was to provide a platform to engage on various problems and challenges of economic development in Nyasaland and Africa at large.

Dunduzu Chisiza during the Symposium

The Symposium was attended by over 70 distinguished economists, scholars and politicians from across the world some of whom presented discussion papers on various disciplines such as: agriculture, industry, education, labour, commerce, fiscal & monetary policies, cooperatives and planning.

Among the international delegates to the Symposium were: Dr. K.N. Raj, Delhi School of Economics; Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, Institute of Economic Growth; Dr. R.E. Baldwin, University of California; Dr. W.O. Jones and Dr. G. Meier, Stanford University; Dr. B.F. Hoselita, University of Chicago; Dr. F. Harbison, Princeton University; Dr. T. Gaardlund, Stockholm School of Economics; Dr. A.J. Brown, Leeds University; Dr. K.B. Berill, St. Catherine College; Dr. E.F. Jackson, St. Anthony’s College; Dr. Walker, Economic Research Institute; Dr. B. Higgins, University of Texas; Dr. B. Lewis, Ford Foundation; Dr. Kaldor, Cambridge University; Dr. R.R. Rhomberg, International Monitory Fund; Dr. Wilbrandt, Berlin University; Dr. H.W. Singer, United Nations and Dr. H.B. Chinery, USAID.

The Symposium was officially opened by the Governor of Nyasaland Sir. Glyn Jones on 18th July 1962 while de-facto Prime Minister Dr. Kamuzu Banda delivered the official closing remarks on the 28th July 1962 on behalf of the Government of Nyasaland.

In his address to the Symposium entitled The Temper, Aspirations and Problems of Contemporary Africa, Dunduzu Chisiza eloquently discussed some of the major political and social problems facing the new African states and ‘prophecised’ on the critical challenges that lied ahead.

According to a testimony by Colin Cameron, this Symposium was a highly successful event. However, it immediately proved to be a catalyst for a rift between Dunduzu Chisiza and Dr. Kamuzu Banda who seemed not pleased that Dunduzu Chisiza had received a widespread praise and acclaim, plaudits which Dr. Kamuzu Banda increasingly felt to be his sole preserve.

Immediately after the Symposium, Colin Cameron as Minister of Works & Transport, Mikeka Mkandawire Minister without portfolio and Dunduzu Chisiza (Deputy Minister of Finance) went to meet Dr. Kamuzu Banda to express their concerns against his leadership style in government and the party.

Barely two months later, on 3rd September 1962, Dunduzu Chisiza was found dead in his official Mercedes Benz vehicle that was reported to have crushed into a stream at Thondwe on his way from Blantyre to his residence in Zomba.

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