Local business captains and entrepreneurs on Tuesday convened at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre to share business knowledge and skills, observing that Malawi needs a mindset change to take the country from poverty to prosperity.
Opening the floor with a keynote address, philanthropist and entrepreneur Napoleon Dzombe spoke on engaging communities so that they are equally productive, saying this in the end would grow wealth of the nation because everyone would be contributing to that growth.
“Unity is power. If we all come together, we shall succeed unlike if we work in isolation. If we are to come up with cooperatives and groups and teach and empower others to learn what we know, we can produce quality staff and export,” he said.
FDH Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer Thomson Mpinganjira in his paper, titled Investment Lessons from an Entrepreneur, gave an example of two investors who set aside the same amount of money each month and get the same average annual return on their investments but at different times.
He concluded by stating that there is no one formula for savings and investment success, but the key is risk taking and taking baby steps.
Mpinganjira’s sentiments were echoed by Malawi Stock Exchange chief executive officer John Kamanga who said one does not necessarily need to have a lot of money to invest for the future.
In his presentation titled Making Use of the Capital Market to Create Wealth, Kamanga said setting aside money for investment purposes was beneficial in more ways, highlighting that one can buy shares on the exchange at as low as K1.
“It is important to develop an investing culture. Among many other investment channels, one can also wish to open an account with a stockbroker and ensure that you are monitoring your investment by keeping up to date with the stock news in the newspaper, our website, by subscribing to our mailing list and by regular contact with your broker,” he said.
Taking her turn, Sycamore Consult director Audrey Mwala said time has come for Malawians to change their mindset towards wealth creation.
She noted that most Malawians are happy to comment on petty issues, saying instead the country needs strong and sound policies that would help foster growth of the economy.
“The wealth of every country is the total sum of its individuals. If we are going to be poor as individuals, we cannot progress as a country. We are going to spend our time blaming government.
“We can be poor or rich depending on how our mind is programmed. We thus need to de-programme our mind and give it a view to realise that we are responsible for our life and fortunes,” she said.
Malawi is ranked among the poorest countries in the world, with around 70 percent of its population living below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day (about K1 387).
Last year, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita —an estimate of the value of goods produced per person in the country which is also considered as an indication of a country’s standard of living—was at around $381 (about K278 130), falling short by over $600 (about K438 000) to reach a lower income target of $1000 about (K730 000).