Construction of a multi-billion Kwacha tourism city along the beach of Lake Malawi in Nkhotakota is set to commence in April 2022 and is expected to create over one million jobs either through job-created opportunities or wealth creation empowering programs, a developer of the project has said.
Dubbed ‘Uthunthu City,’ the project is expected to emerge Malawi’s leading tourism city and hub and will consist of a cultural centre, hotel, golf course, water park, aquarium, zoo, world class university and innovation centre, specialization learning hospital, an international high school, cannabis industrial and medicinal farms and factories, rice processing factory, spice processing and production farms and factory.
Besides, the city will also boast of a textile factory, state-of-the-art airport, villas, 30 storey office buildings and water way transportation infrastructure, according to a leading developer of the project Caswel Mkanda.
Mkanda has told Nation Online in an interview that the whole project will approximately require K500 billion and that part of the city will seat on a 100-hectares stretch of land along the beach while other amenities forming part of the city will the constructed off-the beach.
Said Mkanda: “This city is not just an ambition.It is a vision that I received from God and it has been unfolding by his own guidance and provision. Uthunthu means completeness. In 2014, I developed a holistic development tool called the BSD development model. A human being is tripartite, spirit, soul and body. This development model suggests that sustainable development can only be attained if both the three dimensions of a person are developed.So BSD model stands for Being, Seeing and Doing.”
Quizzed on how relevant is the project to Malawi’s overall long-term vision, the Malawi 2063, Mkanda described the project as ‘youth-centric’ adding that everything embedded in the project is tailored in line with the three pillars of the Malawi Vision 2063, namely agriculture (production and commercialization), urbanization and industrialization.
Added Mkanda: “The Uthunthu City project is fully contextual. It is designed and aligned with Malawi values, principles and culture. We have formulated everything to suit a local Malawian, not the financiers’ monetary conditions and directions.”
He said the tourism city’s programs are designed to promote the lower class people by empowering them with knowledge and technologies that will promote and add value to what the local are already doing, stressing that one of the project’s goal is to increase the production of farmers and balance their quantity with quality produces.
Commenting on the project’s dual-purpose nature,Mkanda said the planned city project does not just focus on generating revenue, but mainly focuses on making an impact by empowering rural masses with skills, knowledge and infrastructure that can promote and sustain their economic status.
He, however, bemoaned lack of access to capital as one serious challenge that has been gripping the project but sounded optimistic that the lakeshore giant project will see the light of its day.
Mkanda assured that currently, the project has already won hearts of a number of potential investors who are willing to bankroll its construction, among other support.
Speaking in a separate interview, NPC director general Thomas Munthali acknowledged about the existence of the impending tourism city project but referred this reporter to NPC director of development planning Grace Kumchulesi for more details.
Kumchulesi, however, did not pick her phone when contacted.
Meanwhile, an international development expert Peter Yakobe has hailed the Uthunthu City project, saying apart from its potential to creating the much-needed jobs, the project is bound to transform the Malawi landscape while also generating more revenue to government.