A personal finance specialist and founder of Sycamore Credit and Sycamore Consult Limited Audrey Mwala has said it is a ripe time for Malawians to “de-program” their negative mindset and replace it with a new mindset of wealth creation if the country is to prosper as envisioned by the Malawi 2063.
Mwala, Malawi’s renowned specialist in Private Public Partnership (PPP), business due diligence, financial management and project management, has said this to Nation Online within the context of the upcoming wealth creation conference slated for next week Friday on August 27, 2021 in Blantyre.
The conference, which will be presided over by vice president Saulos Chilima, aims to cultivate a new culture among Malawians towards wealth creation, among other key objectives.
Mwala lamented that currently, there is too much negativity in terms of thinking among Malawians, which she said is pulling down the potential for Malawi to develop.
Said Mwala: “ There is so much negativity, there is so much wrong thinking that make Malawi as country to fail to move forward.So we want people to have a new mindset, we want people to have new mindset, we want to de-program the mindset of existing people, reprogram it with new mindset so that they should begin to see different things, take different risks, have different perspectives so that when we create a new person out of that, then we will be able to allow that person to create wealth.”
Mwala said Malawi as a country has experienced stunted growth since independence, stressing that the past is full of disappointments.
She said the reality is that today, Malawians are demanding too much goods and services because of exposure to the international community and also due to population boom-which she said is rapidly rising relative to the availability of resources and infrastructure.
According to Mwala, Malawi’s neighbouring countries such as Zambia have their own per-capita income-which is derived by dividing total national output or income by the population size-exceeds $1000 mark yet Malawi’s per-capita or average income is way below.
Malawi’s per capita income is only at around $603 as of end 2020 from $228 in1996.
Experts contend that such a status quo is not worth smiling considering that such an increase is on account of the recent rebasing of GDP by the National Statistical Office (NSO) which saw nominal GDP increasing to $10.9 billion in 2020 from about $8 billion in 2019.
“If you look at countries that are developed, and even countries like China, they have a good number of rich people just like America which has also a good number of rich people there and because these people are rich and have created wealth, when we look at their GDP per-capita, they combine the wealth of individuals as well.Here in Malawi, if we had wealth individuals, then our per-capita GDP could have been high.”
She added: “So what we are doing at Sycamore, is about helping people with personal finance management so that they should have an awareness of how to create wealth and this awareness should not only be done at an individual level only but we want it translated to their private entities, their government entities and in general Malawi as a whole.”
Sycamore consult is a consulting firm registered in Malawi to provide expert business and project solutions to government, private sector as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Mwala, who has an extensive practical hands-on experience in corporate governance, said their company realizes that provision of skills of creating wealth cannot bring the desired results “if you plant these things on wrong soil. So the mindset is like soil.”
Quizzed to provide her thoughts on the new Malawi 2063 as to whether it has a potential to transform Malawi, and considering that the predecessor blue-print, Vision 2020 failed miserably, Mwala sounded optimistic.
“So the document itself is a very important document and if you ask me whether we are going to realize the vision or not, now it is going to depend on implementation,” said who has previously played key team roles in coordination review and input in businesses valuation for public listings, equity disposal, attracting new equity as well as company liquidations.
Malawi 2063 aspires to foster youth-centric “inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance.”
This, according to the new vision, will be possible through key three pillars and seven growth enablers.
The document identifies agriculture productivity and commercialization, industrialisation and urbanization as the three anchoring pillars which have to be interlinked with the seven enablers namely, mindset change, effective governance systems and institutions, enhanced public sector performance, private sector dynamism, human capital development, economic infrastructure and environmental sustainability
Some of the topics to be tackled during the upcoming conference include wealth creation at the workplace, developing a wealth creation mindset, business capital raising, entrepreneurship, developing a saving and investment culture, agriculture for wealth creation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and creating business and personal wealth on the stock exchange.
In his touching mindset lecture delivered in Lilongwe on October 29, 2020, Vice President Saulosi Chilima who is synonymous to a champion of mindset change in modern Malawi, challenged Malawians on the need to change their mindset, as a precursor to personal development, national development and the smooth implementation of public sector reforms which he himself is overseeing as a Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms.
Said Chilima: “We have become a nation too obsessed with trivia. We no longer get interested in life changing discussions. We are now a cartoon nation. We need to change this.”
His thinking was echoed by his boss, Chakwera on January 19, 2021 during the launch of the Malawi 2063.
Chakwera lamented that Malawians waste too much time on trivia and idleness; waste too much money on entitlements and consumption; waste too much land on crops for subsistence living in an annual cycle of poverty and dependency; waste too much aid on sustaining the careers and livelihoods of foreigners whose very professions depend on the very same poor Malawians.