South Africa-based Malawian businessperson and prophet Shepherd Bushiri says he is ready to invest in Malawi starting with the tourism and agriculture sectors.
Bushiri, popularly known as Major One, trades under Shepherd Bushiri Investments (SBI) with a portfolio ranging from financial services, hospitality, aviation, mining and telecommunications and technology.
He boasts that his investments are in Zambia, South Africa and South Sudan with planned expansion to the Middle East.
Bushiri attended the Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) 2018 in Lilongwe yesterday and sat in the front row, a departure from past experience when the government rebuffed his humanitarian assistance in 2017 and his claims that he could resolve the energy crisis within a short period.
Several government officials paid homage to Bushiri, including ministers and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) heads.
Speaking at an impromptu press briefing on the sidelines of the MIF 2018, Bushiri said he is now enjoying government support and he wants to plough back into his country by investing in tourism, agriculture and mining.
“This is the first time that I am coming to Malawi to take part in the investment forum. What I have seen is very pleasant, I have been taken by surprise. I have no doubt in five or 10 years Malawi will be one of the growing business hubs in this part of Africa.”
According to Bushiri, SBI has plans to construct another hotel in Lilongwe.
“I am a family man and I need to look for food for my family. This is the reason I am making huge investments in Malawi. Currently, I have invested heavily and I will continue doing so. We will be venturing into tourism and agriculture before going into mining because there is huge potential in tourism as Malawi’s tourism sector is growing,” he said.
Bushiri said the political climate has changed since early 2016 as evidenced by his invitation to MIF.
“Imagine, I was even allowed to sit in the front row. It shows that my country has accepted me. I am a Malawian, this is my home. I have a house here and I come every month. If we cooperate and work as a team we can move this country from its current state to where we will all be enjoying,” he added.
Soon after President Peter Mutharika had left the venue, investors and exhibitors kept inviting Bushiri to their pavilions and he duly accepted.
He was seen collecting business cards and promised the exhibitors his total support.
Earlier, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Henry Mussa indicated that Bushiri is looking for companies to partner in construction of a sports academy, establishment of hotels and mining ventures, among others.
About five sectors have been prioritised in this year’s MIF including energy, transport, agro-processing, manufacturing, infrastructure development and tourism.
According to the company profile, Bushiri acquired a hotel in Rustenburg, South Africa and has since acquired three 5-star hotels in the United States of America and a 5-star hotel in Dubai.
SBI also owns a television channel, Rainbow TV, in Malawi apart from Prophetic Channel which broadcasts across Africa.
Bushiri claims to have created a $50 million (about K36.7 billion) real estate portfolio held in the company’s subsidiaries.