The Indigenous Businesspersons Association of Malawi (Ibam) has appealed to authorities in the public and private sectors to make it a must that 75 percent of their contracts are awarded to local companies as a way of ensuring massive job creation and hedging progress in the country’s economic recovery.
Ibam president Mike Mlombwa said this in reaction to news that the Malawi government will soon embark on a project to construct three major fuel reservoirs that will store up to 75 million litres of fuel.
Secretary for Energy Dr Winfred Masanjala said the contractor for the fuel reserves construction project is Apollo Mechanical Contractors from Kennewick, Washington in the United States.
“We have to be realistic at some point because we know that being donor funded most of these development projects have conditions that contractors should come from where the main donor is based but our call is that if we are patriotic in awarding competent local companies then we will strengthen the economy in the short to medium terms as it means more jobs to Malawians and internalization of earnings from such
contracts,” said Mlombwa.
He said many local companies have capacity in several areas especially in construction and supply of goods but they are denied growth by both the private and public sectors who have a perception that international contractors are better.
“This mentality is very bad because if senior executives can just try to make it a policy to award 75 percent of their contracts to Malawian companies in the next 24 months we can witness an economic boom while capacity of the contracted companies can also be strengthened that is why we saying for once Malawians let us empower each other and gradually we can achieve economic independence,” said Mlombwa.
Masanjala said the fuel reserves contract will start in three months time and will involve construction of 25 million litres worthy of fuel reserve in Lilongwe, 20 million litres in Blantyre and 15 million litres fuel reserve site in Mzuzu and an additional 15 million litres.
Malawi has been having challenges as its current reserves can only last within 10 days.