June 20, 2024

David Young serving as US Ambassador to Malawi after spending last 9 years in Zambia, Nigeria and South Africa

David Young has been serving as the United States ambassador to Malawi since May 5, 2022, following his nomination by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on August 4, 2021, and his Senate confirmation on March 3, 2022. He spent the last nine years serving in Zambia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

A career member of the foreign service, who previously served as the interim US ambassador to Zambia from January of 2020 to November of 2021, Ambassador Young has also served as interim ambassador to South Africa. He has held numerous diplomatic positions across the continent of Africa and around the world including in Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Guatemala, Vietnam, and Panama.

Ambassador David Young was born in Kansas City, Missouri and is very well educated. He has a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, a Diploma from Trinity College in Dublin, a Master of Divinity and an Master of International Affairs from Boston University.

The United States has maintained a diplomatic relationship with Malawi since it gained independence in 1964. However, Malawi was a one-party state for decades until 1994. Since becoming a multi-party democracy, Malawi has grown into one of the more democratic nations in Africa.

In its 2022 freedom in the world index, Freedom House gave Malawi a total freedom score of 66 out of 100. While this indicates that there is still much work to be done, it is also the highest score given to any country in East Africa which indicates that it is the freest nation in the region.

“Malawi holds regular elections and has undergone multiple transfers of power between political parties, most recently in June 2020. Political rights and civil liberties are for the most part respected by the state,” says Freedom House.

However, the organization also points out the pervasiveness of corruption, police brutality, discrimination, and violence. According to Opportunity International, 70 percent of Malawi’s population lives on less than $1.90 a day which is the international poverty line.

“The United States and Malawi have had a strong relationship for decades. Together we save lives and we change lives for good. I am deeply committed to servant leadership and I look forward to helping us deepen the close partnership between our governments and the people of our two nations,” said Ambassador Young in May.

If the nation of Malawi is to be a democratic voice and model within the heart of Africa, it is important that the United States maintains a positive and productive partnership with it. While great strides have been made in recent decades, continued progress in Malawi is instrumental in protecting Malawians’ human rights.

“The United States partners with Malawi to advance accountable, democratic governance, foster private sector-driven economic growth, and advance health, education, agriculture, energy, and environmental stewardship in Malawi,” says the United States Department of State.

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