Hosting the African Union (AU) Summit can potentially raise $6 million for Malawi, the Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) argued on Thursday.
Mejn executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said in an e-mailed response that the summit will bring huge economic benefits.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The summit will help the economy quite immensely if government and stakeholders look at this hosting as an opportunity to prove to the world that we are a quite resilient people,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Kubalasa claimed the 4 000-plus delegates would spend an estimated $1 500 each over the period of the summit and the nation will have earned at least $6 million or K1 billion, an amount enough to buy drugs in hospitals for days.
The country expects to host AU Summit in June this year and about 53 countries are expected to participate.
Despite criticism from some quarters on the rationale behind hosting such a summit, government insists that it will go ahead.
Vice- President Joyce Banda, addressing a rally at Kasiya in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital, Lilongwe, on Wednesday, asked President Bingu wa Mutharika to tell the AU that the country is unable to host the event due to its current economic challenges.
But addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday, Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Kaliati said government is looking forward to hosting the prestigious event.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As government, we still maintain our stand to host the summit because we did not ask for it. It is a blessing in disguise as it will bring forex and boost trade in the country, among other things,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.