Newly-inaugurated University of Malawi (Unima) professor of finance and corporate strategy at the Polytechnic, James Kamwachale Khomba, says a change in perspective is critical to creating a sustainable financial independence for the country.
Speaking during his professorial inaugural lecture at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre on Friday, Khomba said over the past two decades, Malawi has witnessed a slowdown in business transactions and massive closures of some of important companies, especially in the manufacturing sector, leading to contraction of business activity.
In his lecture titled Turnaround Strategies for Creating Sustainable Financial Independence for Malawi: Evolution or Revolution?, he said the private sector remains Malawi’s engine for the national economy in terms of its contribution towards the provision of employment, purchase of raw materials and other inputs, production of goods and services as well as payment of tax.
Said Khomba: “Regrettably, the closure of such companies has brought in so many socio-economic evils, including massive layoffs of the working class people, thereby generating low purchasing power, high rates of insecurity, huge government borrowing locally and internationally, high interest rates, increased prices on essential commodities, culminating in even more companies, including small and medium enterprises [SMEs] closing shop.”
He said the formulation of turnaround strategies for Malawi should be an initiative that can answer the needs of the Malawian society, especially those emerging in the business sector.
“The process requires the need for the Malawi community to seriously and collectively rethink its vision and mission, redefine its implementable long-term goals, and accordingly, formulate strategies for it to move out of this socio-economic quagmire as the only way forward,” said Khomba, in his more than one-hour long lecture that attracted a cross section of Malawians.
Based on his personally developed Umunthu (humanity) sustainability business (USB) model, he said once it is adopted, Malawians will be able to appreciate the need for long-term National Development Framework, in a country where youths under the age of 25 comprise 67 percent of the population, thereby allowing continuity of programmes.
“Through the model, we should be able to analyse relationship and culture for continued stakeholder networking; stakeholder analysis for recognition of contributions by individual stakeholders; value creation for maximum use of economy and corporate conscience for equitable allocation of wealth created to all involved stakeholders.
“Currently, the case is of a minority supporting the majority with a significant burden placed on working age population to provide basic needs like health and education,” said Khomba.
In his remarks, Unima Vice-Chancellor Professor John Kalenga Saka said it is through such lectures that the university informs the community and engages in search for critical answers to a myriad of challenges facing the country.