Brief Background

Formed in 1992 during the Malawi’s political transition from one party to multi party system of government, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) remains a key civil society organization in the field of human right, mediation, advocacy, HIV/AIDS, Gender based Violence, religious co-existence, electoral processes and peace and security.

It’s success in ushering in multiparty democracy emanated from its institutional architecture that entailed the establishment of the National Consultative Council (NCC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) within the organisation. The NCC was the principal transitional body for the formulation of policy required during the transition, but the cabinet and the single party parliament had the right to reject and refer back to NCC unacceptable proposals.

On the other hand, NEC’s role was that of monitoring the implementation of transitional legislation and policy, and passing on NCC’s proposals to cabinet for consideration. It is registered under Trustee Incorporation Act and located in Capital City, City Centre, Embassy Zone, next to UNDP in Lilongwe. During its formation, it assumed various names such as: Ecumenical Committee, Extra-ordinary Committee, Malawi National Affairs Committee, National Affairs Committee.

Then became Public Affairs Committee during Chilema meeting in August,1992 in Zomba. As one of the institutions accredited and serving in the COMESA CSO Steering Committee of Peace and Security Programme, the organization has not only been involved in the preparations of the 20 July demonstrations but also 1 got involved in the UN led Presidential Committee Dialogue Group negotiations following the July 2011 demonstrations that led to the handing over of the 20 point petition to the leadership of the country. The history of PAC in dialogue processes cannot be overemphasized.

In 1992, it maintained dialogue with Dr. Banda’s regime through Presidential committee on Dialogue (PCD) which resulted in multiparty system of government. In 2003, it spearheaded a campaign against open and third term constitutional amendment. In 2007, PAC maintained dialogue with major political parties on 565 and Budget. With its extensive experience in the political processes, the organization has previously hosted COMESA on CSO initiatives, participates in COMESA and SADC observation missions, Africa-EU Joint Strategy for Development and AU- ECOSSOC initiatives at international level. Against this background, issues of good governance and peace building occupy the centre stage of PAC’s strategic direction, and any state’s deviation from the expected democratic norms attracts its intervention through advocacy and constructive engagement. Since its formation, PAC has taken lead in national public advocacy and countrywide programmes. It has over 4,500 volunteer at both regional and district level.

It  terms  of  PAC’s  decision  architecture ,  the  General  Assembly  is   an  annual  platform  where  its  members  endorse   policy  decisions  and  direction. It  has  trustees  who  are  the legal  owners  of  the  organization that also plays  an  oversight role  on  the  Executive  Committee  that  work  on regular  basis  with  the  secretariat. Major networks representing  different faiths   known as  ‘mother bodies’  are  co-opted  into  the structure  for  inclusive  decision-making  and ownership.  Its   volunteer structure   funnels   down from regional   to   constituency level. In order strengthen  youth  and  women  participation, PAC  implements  youth early  warning  and  Response  ,  and  Women-In-faith  projects  to  complement  PAC’s  national  initiatives  on  conflict prevention, management  and  resolution as  well  as  electoral  interventions  during tripartite  elections  and bye-elections.

Advocating for Transformative Leadership in Malawi

Vision Statement

“A Malawian society with internalized democratic values and practice.”

Mission Statement

“A Malawian society with internalized democratic values and practice.”