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DPP highlight Academic and Political biography of Former President Peter Mutharika

Peter Mutharika
Relaxed Peter Mutharika

Former Malawi President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika studied law at the University of London, and successfully completed the bachelor’s degree in 1965. In 1966, he graduated with an LL.M degree from Yale University. In 1969 he obtained a JSD (PhD) degree from Yale University. He was 29 years old, and it was an extraordinary achievement for an African receiving a doctorate at that age in the 1960s.

Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika selected an academic career, therefore taught at several universities in Africa and beyond.

 These are

(i) University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania),

(ii) Haile Selassie University (Ethiopia),

(iii) Rutgers University (USA),

(iv) the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Program for Foreign Service Officers from Africa and Asia at Makerere University (Uganda), and

(v) Washington University (USA). As an academic, he has also served as

(i) an Academic Visitor at the London School of Economics (UK),

(ii) advisor to the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law initiative for Africa and

(iii) the Chairperson of the Institute for Democracy and Policy Studies. Professor Mutharika has also lectured at the Council of Foreign Relations of the United States of America, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the United Kingdom. In 2008, he received the 2008 International Jurist Award, a prestigious outfit.

Professor Mutharika spent over 30 years at Washington State University (USA), during which he rose to the position of full professor, also becoming Charles Nagel Professor of International Comparative Law and Chairman of the PhD in Law Program for twenty years. During this period, he has personally supervised over 50 PhDs from all over the world.

His Excellency Professor Mutharika is an expert in International Economic Law, International Law and Comparative Constitutional Law.

As a seasoned academic, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has numerous publications to his credit. Among his selected publications are:

i. Mutharika, A. P., Foreign Investment Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Emerging Policy and Legal Frameworks (book)

ii. Mutharika, A. P. (2003). “Accountability for Political Abuses in Pre-Democratic Malawi: The Primacy of Truth.” Third World Legal Studies.16: 203- 218.

iii. Mutharika, A.P. (1980). “The Regulation of Statelessness Under International and National Law: Statelessness, refugees, and related nationality problems.” Volume 2, Oceana Publications

iv. Mutharika, A. P. (1997). “Creating an Attractive Investment Climate in the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Region”. 12 Foreign Investment Law Journal, 1.

v. Peter Mutharika, A.P. (1996). “The 1995 Democratic Constitution of Malawi.” Journal of African Law, 40 (2), 205-220.

vi. Peter Mutharika (1996). “The Role of the United Nations Security Council in African Peace Management: Some Proposals”. Michigan Journal of International Law, 537

vii. Peter Mutharika (2003). “Accountability for Political Abuses in Pre-Democratic Malawi: The Primacy of Truth.” Volume 16 Into the 21st Century: Reconstruction and Reparations in International Law. Third World Legal Studies

viii. Peter Mutharika, A.P. (1998). “Some Thoughts on Rebuilding African State Capability.” Washington State University Law Review. 76 (1): 281-291.

ix. Mutharika, A.P. (1995). “The Role of International Law in the Twenty-First Century: An African Perspective.” 18 Fordham International Law Journal, 1706

x. Mutharika, A.P. (2001). “The Alien under American Law.” Washington State University Law

xi. Mutharika, A.P. (1978). “International law of development.” Oceana Publications

xii. Mutharika, A.P. (2003). “Approaches to Restorative Justice in Malawi”, 13th Commonwealth Law Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

xiii. Mutharika, A.P. (2002). “Legal System of Malawi”, 3 Legal Systems of the World 949

xiv. Mutharika, A.P. (1998). “Some Thoughts on Rebuilding African State Capability,” 76 Washington University Law Quarterly 281

Political career

Professor Mutharika retired from active academic life at the Washington University School of Law on 1 July 2011 to concentrate on politics back in Malawi.

Professor Mutharika served as a key resource person at the Malawi Constitutional Conference in February 1995 at the invitation of the Constitutional Committee of Malawi. Prior to this, Professor Mutharika served as General Counsel of the Malawi Action Committee, the main Malawi external pressure group during the struggle for democratization in Malawi.

Following the death of his beloved brother, Late President Ngwazi Prof. Bingu Wa Mutharika in April 2012, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika assumed the position of interim President of the Democratic Progressive Party until 18th April 2013 when he was duly elected as the DPP President and Presidential candidate for the May 2014 Tripartite Elections. Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was declared by the Malawi Electoral Commission as Malawi’s fifth President since independence, and the fourth since attainment of democracy in Malawi.

Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika served as an adviser to his elder brother, President Bingu wa Mutharika, on foreign and domestic policy from 2004 until the President’s death on 5th April 2012. Professor Mutharika held various cabinet positions such as Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Minister of Foreign Affairs. As the Minister of Education, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of the establishment of 6 public universities, 2 of which; Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Malawi University of Science and Technology are now operational. A new and a third University, at Mombera, Mzimba is under construction.

International and Community Service

As a distinguished son of Malawi and Africa, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has dedicated himself to utilizing his international acumen to promote global, regional, and national peace and unity as well as conflict resolution. To this end, the Professor was part of a 3-man tribunal arbitrating international cases. Until August 2011, Professor Mutharika was involved in two international court cases with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes that involved Zimbabwean government for breaches of bilateral investment treaties between nationals of Switzerland and Germany. He still sits as a member of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Professor Mutharika, as a freedom fighter offered free legal services to Socialist League of Malawi (LESOMA) led by Atati Mpakati and Malawi Freedom Movement (MAFREM), led by Orton Chirwa. He was the lead person in framing the party constitutions. Not surprisingly, Professor Mutharika was a good and valuable friend of Chakufwa Chihana, Jomo Chikwakwa, Henry Masauko Chipembere and Atati Mpakati. He left Tanzania for the USA following the death of Masauko Chipemphere and Atati Mpakati, as well as the arrest of Orton Chirwa in late 1981.

Economic Development and Higher Education

His Excellency, Professor Peter Arthur Mutharika espouses commitment to education and its critical role to economic development of the country and Africa.

His values and commitments in education include:

• Increasing access and ensuring adequate female participation.

• Quality enhancement.

• Internationalization of higher education, and

• Academic excellence

– ranking

– supportive of economic development


His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was in 2016 awarded the African Leadership award and Medal of Honor by the African Leadership group of London for exceptional leadership and impacting lives positively.

His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was also inducted into the Hall of Fame which represents the highest seal of approval, confidence, and commendation from the board of the African Leadership Magazine Group.

He also received a Certificate of Honour of Citation from the Caucus of the State of Georgia, House of Representatives, USA.

In July 2016, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, for his Excellency’s selfless contribution to Africa and the world and for leading Malawi from aid to trade diversifying Malawi’s economy, initiating programmes for empowering the youth, fighting climate change, fighting corruption, and providing affordable housing for people.

In November 2009, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was awarded the Charles Nagel Professorship of International and Comparative Law by Washington University of Law for High Level Experience in Law and his undisputed achievements in academia. Mutharika is one of Malawi’s most highly educated international lawyers with different international accolades to his name. He is the first African person to be granted this honour.

A year before this (2008), His Excellency received an International Jurist Award from the International Council of Jurists based in the United Kingdom for His Excellency’s unique contribution to academia particularly the field of legal education and development in the world – First African to receive this award.


Your Excellencies, Distinguished ladies, and Gentlemen, In April 2016, His Excellency was appointed African Development Bank Youth Programme Champion for his Excellency’s commitment to youth empowerment in Africa.

In July 2015, His Excellency was appointed Champion for Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS – (UNAIDS) for His Excellency’s vision to ensure local drug manufacturing security in least developed countries. Through His Excellency’s engagement using his role as Trips Champion – His Excellency negotiated an extension of 17 years for least developed countries to continue manufacturing drugs locally.

In July 2015, His Excellency was appointed Champion for Higher Education in Africa by Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building (RUFORUM) in recognition for His Excellency’s experienced Background in Higher Education- His Excellency is now a key driver for advancing higher education in Africa. RUFORUM has confidence in President Mutharika’s ability to deliver beyond any expectations.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished ladies, and Gentlemen, in June 2015, His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was crowned champion of HeForShe Global Impact by United Nations / UN Women following His Excellency’s commitment to gender equality and empowerment of women, specifically to end child marriages. HeForShe Campaign calls on men to join and be at the forefront of the gender equality movement.

In March 2015, His Excellency was crowned Champion for UNFPA Youth Programme by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for His Excellency’s exceptional credentials that improve the living standards of the youths in Malawi, Africa, and the world.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is a Co-convenor of the Global Commission on Education Financing with the Prime Minister of Norway, and Presidents of Chile and Indonesia, and the Director General of UNESCO.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was also appointed Champion for Global Education Partnership.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we have before us, an outstanding African Statesman.

Elwin Mandowa
Elwin Mandowa
Elwin Mandowa: is the Founder and Managing Editor of the The Maravi Post. a Malawi current affairs and World news website founded December of 2009. Software Engineer Specializing in Paperless Applications, Healthcare Hipaa and Logistics


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