Malawi through its Investment Forum (MIF) has enticed foreign investors to inject their finances in some sectors of the economy.
The Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) was held on Monday and Tuesday at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
President Peter Mutharika in his speech said that it is ironic that Africa, a continent with vast natural resources, could have some of the poorest nations in the world.
The president attributed this to a mind-set problem where he said people spend much time worrying over the challenges rather than finding positivity in them.
This he said is time Malawi started seeing challenges as opportunities for growth, highlighting this is the major reason investors come to Malawi, which he said is a land full of opportunities.
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe stop boasting about the country’s economy, which he says has been stable for almost four years now, making an environment suitable for investment.
The finance minister explained that through different fiscal policies, the country has managed to reduce the inflation rate from 34% to a single digit of 7%, explaining that Malawi has capability of achieving
a 9% growth rate a year but fail due to financial constraints.
Gondwe said Malawi now needs about US$5.1 billion from in investments with the energy sector along needing about US$2 billion and transportation US$1 billion.
ThE 2018 Malawi Investment Forum is being held in partnership with other economic bodies on the continent.
Sharing similar thought were development partners African Union (AU), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Africa Business Group, which are some of the key players.
African Union Regional Representative Dr Leopold Auguste Ngomo highlighted the need to involve the private sector more for African countries to develop through investment.
Ngomo said Malawi’s geographical positioning is ideal for investment as it is open to both SADC and COMESA trade regions.
He advised Malawi to put more focus on manufacturing and agro-processing, as these are the most available resources for the country.
Regional Director for UNECA Prof Said Adejumobi says turning to the private sector is the surest way these opportunities can be turned into meaningful investment for economic growth.
He notes that there is a need for African countries to groom entrepreneurs in the private sector for this to be achieved.
On his part Secretary General for COMESA Dr Sibusiso Ngwenya stressed the need for investment trade, saying it remains key for Africa’s development.
He advises the continent to keep watch of population growth which he says is at alarming rate in the sub-Saharan region.
Investors from over 30 countries have expressed interest to invest in energy, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism in Malawi.
At the event government through, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi already signed a power purchase deal with an Indian company, Mbongozi, for a Hydro Electric Power Project on Buwa River which expects to add 41 megawatts to the national grid.
In the previous two forums the country realised about US$320 million in deals but some are yet to materialise, among them the Mpatamanga Power Plant which is expected to be ready by 2023.
This year’s event is under the theme Private Sector- Led Growth; Key to Malawi’s Sustainable Growth.