Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima is a Malawian politician, trained-economist and thought-leader who is serving as the 5th Vice President of the Republic of Malawi for the period May 2014 to May 2019. Before joining politics, Dr Chilima held key leadership positions in various multi-national companies including Unilever, Southern Bottlers Limited (Coca-Cola) and Airtel Malawi Limited, where he rose to become the First Malawian Managing Director in 2010.
Born on 12th February 1973 in Blantyre Malawi, Dr Chilima is married to Mary Chilima with whom he has two children, Sean Chilima, and Elizabeth Chilima.
Apart from being a philanthropist, Dr Chilima is driven by a strong inclination towards self-discipline and service to others. He is an accomplished motivational speaker, whose style is grounded in pragmatic thought; focus on results and people-centred leadership.
Dr Chilima attended Henry Henderson Institute and Dharap Primary schools in Blantyre and later Mtendere secondary school in Dedza in Malawi.
He then proceeded to pursue a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, where he graduated with a Bachelorís Degree in Economics and Computer Science in 1994, and a Master of Arts Degree in Economics from Chancellor College.
In August 2015 he was conferred with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Knowledge Management by the University of Bolton (UK) after successfully defending his Thesis entitled: “Investigating the Influence of Knowledge Management Practices on Organizationsí Performance in the Telecommunication Industry in Malawi – A Case Study”
Private Sector Career
Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima possesses wide multi-sectoral experience spanning from Financial Services, Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Services, and Telecommunications. He has led strategic and breakthrough projects namely Project Precision, Yabooka, Airtel Money, 3G network upgrade across the organizations that resulted in significant impact on the business revenue and employee engagement.
He is quick to adjust to change as evidenced by multiple rebranding experiences and shareholder changes, especially in the telecommunications sector. He is very adaptive to change as evidenced by the seamless transition from one industry to another without compromising his strong traits of leadership and making a positive contribution wherever he goes.
He started his professional career as a Management Trainee at the then Lever Brothers (Mw) Limited (now Unilever) in 1995 and proceeded to work for the Leasing and Finance Company of Malawi before moving on to Southern Bottlers Limited (Now Castel Malawi). It was while working for Southern Bottlers Limited that he went back to Chancellor College to pursue a Master of Arts Degree in Economics (2003 ñ 2005) which he was awarded after submitting a workplace-relevant dissertation entitled: ìThe Determinants of Demand for Carlsberg Beer: An Economic Analysisî in June 2005 He joined Celtel Malawi Limited in September 2006 and participated in a number of activities including the successful transition from Celtel to Zain and Zain to Airtel. In 2010, he rose from the position of Sales and Distribution Director to become the First Malawian to be appointed Managing Director of Airtel Malawi Limited.
He is credited to have grown the companyís annual revenue by 75% over a period of three years, from USD54m in 2010 to USD95m in 2013.
While working for Zain, he was, alongside other Zain employees in Africa, accredited by the Louis-Allen Worldwide as a Leadership Development Trainer. Over the years, he has served on boards of different companies, including:
- Airtel Malawi Limited
- Malawi National Council of Sports
- Indebank Limited
- Charter Insurance Limited
- Metropolitan Insurance Company
After a successful 20-year career in the private sector, Dr Chilima resigned from Airtel Malawi in February 2014, accepting a call of duty to serve the people of Malawi by participating in the political economy. He
joined the then opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is now the ruling party, as Running Mate of the partyís Presidential Candidate Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (the incumbent President of
the Republic of Malawi), a decision that was construed as a miscalculated risk and astounded many a people.
Using his marketing prowess, he ran a very successful campaign and significantly contributed to the victory of the DPP in the May, 2014 Tripartite General Elections to become the Vice President of the Republic
of Malawi, a position he holds until today. He currently doubles the role of Vice President of the Republic of Malawi with a Ministerial position responsible for Disaster Risk Management.
Between July 2014 and January 2017, he was Chairman of the Malawi Public Service Reforms Commission which was tasked to champion the much-needed reforms in the Malawi Public Service in order for it to
become more efficient, effective and professional in its service delivery to Malawians.
In this role, he has been exceptionally instrumental in reinvigorating the Public Sector while overseeing major changes in Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. A number of successes have this far been recorded, including:
- Road Traffic significant improvement in turnaround times in processing of driving licenses, certificate of fitness cards and documentations as well as increase in revenue collection.
- Malawi Revenue of Authority systems.
- Ministry of Education salaries decentralization.
- One stop service centers
His experience and project implementation track record in private sector propelled the achievement of successful reforms in public sector. For his leadership of the Reforms agenda, Dr Chilima was named by the local body of Chartered Accountants as the ìMost Influential Personî in Malawi in the year 2016.
Dr Chilima is also the Minister responsible for Disaster prevention and management a role that he handles with agility in terms of response time to disasters that have happened in the country thus demonstrating that caring for people is his first priority.
Dr Chilima is an active member of the Roman Catholic Church. He believes and trusts in God. As a lay person, he has lead several strategic initiatives on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in Malawi such as being chairman of the Publicity Committee for the 2014 AMECEA conference and currently he is the ambassador for the New Catholic Bible and responsible for promoting it throughout the country.
Other Notable Portfolios
1. University Of Malawi Chancellor College Public Lecture Philosophy Department
On the 27th of February 2018, the Philosophy Department hosted a Public Lecture on the topic, ìMoral Decadence: towards an effective compliance and ethics programî which was delivered by Dr. Saulos
Klaus Chilima, the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi. The event is part of activities in the Master of Arts in Applied Ethics Program in the Philosophy Department.
2. Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Malawi Champion
In December 2014, the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika nominated the Vice President to become the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) Malawi Champion. This initiative promotes transparency and accountability in public infrastructure in Malawi. It has its central office in London, the United Kingdom. The CoST Malawi Multi-Stakeholder Group with the support of the National Construction Industry Council as the host organisation and the African Development Bank has been highly effective in developing the CoST Malawi programme. This is, therefore, a great initiative intended to mainstream accountability and transparency in the construction of infrastructure. Under his stewardship, Malawi has managed to include a component of CoST disclosure requirements in the Public Procurement Act 2017.
3. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Leadership Council of Compact 2025
Dr Chilima is a member of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Leadership Council which facilitates ëCompact2025í aimed at supporting countries, institutions and initiatives towards the elimination of hunger and under nutrition by 2025.
The members of the Leadership Council serve as global champions for ending hunger and under nutrition and provide strategic guidance, share success stories and raise awareness. Malawi is one of the focal
countries for Compact2025. The Leadership Council comprises leaders from different countries and international organizations.
4. Champion of the Malabo-Montpellier Forum
In August 2017, Dr Chilima was invited to become Champion for the Malabo Montpellier Forum. This is a forum that convenes two or three times a year bringing together a small number of African and European
decisionmakers at the Ministerial level to discuss findings and technical reports that are prepared by the related Malabo Montpellier Panel, which brings together 17 leading international and African experts in different areas of economic development.
The forum convenes decision makers at the highest level of government and members of the panel to assess strategies for meeting continental and global agriculture and food security goals. The dialogue between the panel, key stakeholders, NGOs and the private sector promotes the sharing of research across borders.
The Malabo Declaration, adopted by 54 African governments in 2014, commits signatory countries to halve the number of people in poverty by 2025 through inclusive agricultural growth that creates job opportunities for young people and women. The panel and forum support the realization of the above goals by facilitating dialogue at the highest level around latest research findings and technical evidence to advance agricultural strategies in Africa. Dr Chilima is serving as the Champion for Eastern and Southern Africa region and Co-Chairing the forumís meeting with H.E Abdoulaye Bio-Tchane, Senior Minister of Economy and Planning of the Republic of Benin who is the Champion for West and Central Africa.
5. Contribution to The 9th African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) Memoir
The ACBF African Development Memoirs provide a platform by which successful development practitioners and /or African leaders who have made significant contributions to the development process in Africa or other developing regions, share their experiences and insights for Africaís sustainable development.
Dr Chilima contributed to the 9th Memoir, sharing his professional insights, reflections, skills, processes and experiences in the management of specific policies and programs. The title of the 9th Memoir is, “The role of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in Africaís sustainable and inclusive development: understanding the capacity challenges”