It is with profound sadness that we share the tragic passing of Mr. Francis Mbilizi, the Board Chairman of African Parks Malawi Ltd., who died on Saturday August 1, 2020 due to complications as a result of Covid-19.
Francis had served as a long-standing Board Member of African Parks in Malawi; first on the Majete Board since 2009 and then as Chairman of African Parks Malawi since 2015, until his untimely passing. An academic and an extremely accomplished individual in both government and the private sector, he was also a lover of wildlife and wild places and was instrumental in helping guide African Parks in Malawi for over a decade.
Francis held several degrees including a Master’s in Political Science from Hawthorne University in the US, a degree in International Management from the Canadian School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Malawi.
He began his professional career in 1996 as Deputy Secretary of the Office of the President and Cabinet of Malawi. He quickly rose to the position of Principal Secretary in Ministry of Trade and Industry and thereafter served as Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Wildlife. He had also served as the Managing Director of Sunbird Tourism Ltd and held the role of Executive Director at the National Lotteries Board of Malawi.
Francis was deeply talented and a respected leader, who was always looking to see how best he could help, and he helped us immensely in growing our footprint in Malawi. Besides African Parks’ Boards in Malawi to which he was wholly dedicated and believed strongly in the effective management of the country’s national resources, he served on various other Boards including as the Chairman of the Lilongwe Water Board, the Malawi Development Corporation, Air Malawi and Honey with Heart.
As we mourn his passing, we pay tribute to his legacy and the significant contributions he made, especially for conservation within Malawi, and he will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences are with his family members who include his wife, four children and six grandchildren.