SDNP will enhance the capacity of stakeholders to use computer-mediated communications, including the Internet. It will do this through provision of some equipment, Internet connections and services and through training, awareness and capacity building on technology, use and benefits of computer mediated communications like the Internet. 


SDNP has now established offices and a national Internet hub at the Coordination Unit at the Polytechnic in Blantyre.  

The SDNP network started in 1998 with the following connection setup: 

  • a 64 kilo bits per second (kbps) digital leased line connection via the then MPTC and MCI to UUNET 
  • UUNET was then the largest Internet networks company in the world
  • leased line connnections to three regional Internet nodes at Chancellor College in Zomba, at NRCM in Lilongwe and at Mzuzu University. 
  • dial–up connections to six pilot districts: Nsanje, Thyolo, Mangochi, Dedza, Mchinji and Nkhata Bay. 

The Malawi SDNP network has grown considerably since then covering all of Malawi.


The SDNP strategy aims to ensure that many stakeholders are involved in the SDNP programme in Malawi in a participatory manner and to widely extend computer mediated communications in Malawi even to the community level and to the rural areas.

SDNP will actively encourage stakeholders, participants and subscribers to use the SDNP networks and servers to contribute content and share information.  


While SDNP is supported by UNDP in the start-up phase, the main principle is that SDNP must become sustainable as a non-profit organisation within two years of start of operations, after which UNDP funding will cease.  

It is therefore one of the primary objectives of the programme to put in place a legal framework and a legally registered organisation to run SDNP activities after the funding from UNDP ceases. The resulting legally registered organisation may be a company, trust, association or other such entities to be chosen by the National Steering Committee with the assistance of lawyers under the Malawi legal system. 


To ensure sustainability SDNP is building a business plan: 

  • to build on the results of the initial consultation process and viability assessment that led to the development of the project document 
  • to run SDNP networks and services on viable non-profit basis
  • to produce a fee structure for use of SDNP networks and services 
  • to support the billing of users and management of user accounts
  • to pay for all its inputs to manage the startup UNDP funding
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