President Peter Mutharika has assured investors that Malawi is ready for industrialisation to increase exports.
The President’s sentiments follow the signing of $1.4 billion (about K1.1 trillion) memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Malawi Government and African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank).
The projects to be financed include the international airport, a holiday resort at Cape Maclear and a logistics park in Mangochi, rehabilitation of Liwonde Dry Port and rail lines along the Nacala Corridor, construction and rehabilitation of M5 Road as well as industrial parks in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha signed the MoU on behalf of the Malawi Government while Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah signed on behalf of the bank.
In his address to investors who witnessed the signing ceremony, Mutharika hailed Afreximbank for providing the financing facility which he described as landmark and timely to facilitate economic growth.
He said: “Time has come for Africa to be independent. In our case, we are delighted that you are bringing infrastructure projects that will help to transform Malawi.
“With the international airport, people can fly direct to Mangoch. We want to make Malawi a tourism star of the world. We want Mangochi to be like a port of Africa.”
Mutharika said the Cape Maclear Tourism Project will create about 40 000 jobs.
On his part, Oramah said Lake Malawi provides greater opportunities for investment and that it was important government came up with strategies to develop the lake tourism, a resource other countries do not have.
“It is important that you are developing these opportunities to benefit the people of Malawi.
“Your government is emphasising on tourism, industrialisation and agro-processing which is good for the growth of the economy,” he said.
Mwanamvekha said the MoU is important as it will transform the country’s state of infrastructure as well as bringing foreign direct investment.
“For those investments to materialise, investors will bring money into the country.
“We will be implementing these projects through Export Development Fund. Some of the projects already have feasibility studies such as the Liwonde Dry Port,” he said.
During the signing of MoU, Oramah introduced investors that accompanied him. They included Orascom, El Sewedy, Apex Trading, Mota-Engil, Thessah Madagascar Group and Home Pride Investment London.
The visit by Oramah and team comes at a time players in the private sector are reeling from high cost finance, which the World Bank has repeatedly cited as one of the major obstacles to doing business in the country.