Malawi strikes K500bn investment deals

Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) wrapped up at exactly 7pm on Tuesday with one common shared sentiment by delegates: The country has been successfully sold to potential investors.

According to a communique read during a news conference and seen by The Nation, so far, three known deals have been quantified and offer Malawi about $1.1 billion (over K500 billion) in potential investment.

chiunda
Read the communique: Chiunda

 

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Trade Cliff Chiunda—who read the communique in the presence of four Cabinet ministers—drew a round of applause when he mentioned the worth of investment that Malawi has struck during the forum.

However, there are six other investment deals currently at a preliminary understanding level from the two-day forum which drew together over 130 foreign delegates from 31 countries.

Among others, an American company Briggs International will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malawi Government for the implementation of a multi-billion dollar rail system, connecting Lake Malawi to the Indian Ocean without barges having to off-load their goods.

Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) president Mike Mlombwa’s Countrywide Group of Companies has received preliminary funding consideration for its projects to develop five-star hotels in the commercial capital Blantyre and Chintheche on the shores of Lake Malawi, by three international financiers that were not named as negotiations are still in progress.

Atlas Energy, another local company, has also received a commitment by an international financier for $80 million to develop a 40 megawatts solar project in Malawi.

It also transpired on Tuesday that China Railways Number Three Engineering Group Company Limited has picked three projects which it intends to finance and own.

The projects include Kammwamba Coal-fired Power Station valued at $600 million, railway construction and rehabilitation worth $250 million and the Mangochi Airport   estimated to cost $250 million.

Speaking earlier during the briefing, Minister of Industry and Trade Joseph Mwanamvekha described the forum as a success saying government has managed to sell the Malawi market.

Yesterday, there was plenary reporting by each of the breakaway sectors of mining, tourism, infrastructure, energy, agriculture and agro-processing and manufacturing apart from business to business meetings.

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    The investment are welcome. But this idea of the Chinese owning rail line is unacceptable. Can government have shares. Please do not sell the country to foreigners. These should be joint venture projects. How can a foreign company own a rail line? We want to share profits as well and not taxing them? It appears government is not learning anything form Kayelekera Mine. Unless done properly, people will resist these projects. Do you remember the Monkey Bay Motal Engil debacle? We want joint venture where most of the money remain in Malawi for further development.

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