President Lazarus Chakwera has asked the Government of Qatar to help Malawi to graduate from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group by encouraging that country’s private sector to explore investment opportunities.
He made the appeal during his audience with Qatar Deputy Prime Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, who is also Minister of State for Defence Affairs, on the sidelines of the Fifth United Nations Conference on LDCs underway in Doha.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Minister of Information and Digitisation Moses Kunkuyu said the two leaders centred their discussion on how the Qatari Government can assist Malawi to realise its vision of becoming “a middle income, self-reliant and industrialised nation” as aspired in Malawi 2063, the country’s long-term development strategy.
He said Chakwera requested the Government of Qatar to motivate its citizens to consider investing in Malawi, especially in strategic sectors such as tourism, agriculture and mining.
“The good news is that they [the Qatari Government] have promised to send a delegation to Malawi to explore various investment opportunities and this is a direct response to the call by our President,” said Kunkuyu. “It was a very fruitful meeting and that I can assure you.”
Touching on specific topical issues, the minister said the two leaders also discussed the possibility of establishing a strong partnership in the agriculture sector that would enable Malawi to export livestock and fresh agricultural produce to Qatar.
Kunkuyu also said the President sought the possibilities of scholarships for Malawians to study in Qatari universities to enhance the quality of human capital in the country.
He also said that it is the wish of the President to see Qatar’s State-owned flag carrier, Qatar Airways, extending its footprint to Malawi.
Commenting on mining, as an investment opportunity, he said Chakwera also wants the Qatari investors to consider weighing in on the possibility of investing in rutile exploration and exploitation as well as adding value to the mineral.
In 2022, it emerged that Kasiya in Lilongwe has the largest rutile deposit in the world with 1.8 billion tonnes of indicated and inferred resources at 1.01 percent.
The projected deposits are said to be more than double the rutile contained at its nearest rutile peer, Sierra Rutile in Sierra Leone.