Malawi President inaugurates Shire Lodge: JB puts tourism at heart of economic revival

Malawi President Joyce Banda has appealed to all potential investors, both local and foreign, to invest in the tourism sector, which she says has the potential to transform the economy of this country, create jobs and improve the livelihoods of many people.

She was speaking on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, when she presided over the official opening of the magnificent Shire Lodge along the banks of Shire River, Liwonde in Machinga.

Shire Lodge is a subsidiary of Siku Group of Companies. Siku has found a niche in the tourism sector through its international hospitality outlets along the Lake Malawi and Shire River.

“Malawi has a lot of tourism opportunities such as mountain climbing, cultural activities and historical sites, water sport and health-spa among others. Lake Malawi remains the untapped fountain of our tourism base. As you may be aware, my Government, in its quest to turn around the economy, is implementing an Economic Recovery Plan and, tourism is one of the five priority sectors in the plan,” said the Head of State.

Shire Lodge:Inside one of the deluxe rooms

President Banda said they believe that for the tourism sector to take its rightful place in the economy there is a need to improve on quality of product offer. In that regard, she said her government was promoting integrated tourism destination centres that are all inclusive and provide business, shopping, relaxation, and entertainment to guests and visitors.

“For example, my Government intends to develop an integrated up-market resort in the Cape Maclear area. The Government is planning to build an airport, shopping mall, few medium to up- market hotels, conferencing facilities, water sport and link these products to an industrial development either in agriculture or mining,” said the President.

The Head of State noted that Shire Lodge is located in one of the most strategic areas on Malawi’s tourist map, noting the official opening of the Lodge marked “yet another milestone in the development of tourism in this country”.

She thanked Siku Group of Companies for responding to government’s call to invest in quality tourism facilities to compliment the tourist attractions and facilities that already exist in the area.

“I am aware that, apart from the Shire Lodge, Siku Group of Companies also operates the Hippo View Lodge in Liwonde and Sun ‘n’ Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi. My government appreciates your contribution to providing jobs, contributing to foreign exchange earnings, supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and improving the livelihoods of the rural communities where these facilities are established.

“It is through your contribution to tourism that Liwonde is set to turn into one of the country’s preferred tourist destinations.

“It is, therefore, my belief that your company shall continue to further explore more investment opportunities in the area and the country in general,” she said.

Abdul Munaf, Managing Director for Siku said they will continue to complement government’s efforts to recover the troubled economy through setting of top class and quality hospitality and tourist centres like the Shire Lodge. He disclosed that they intend to set up such facilities in border towns such as Muloza in Mulanje, Mwanza and Mchinji, among others.

The MD announced a donation of 1,000 bags of flour towards President Banda’s food distribution initiatives in the light of prevalent hunger in most areas of the country.

He also donated an undisclosed amount of money towards the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood and Maternal Health.

Siku Group of Companies Abdul Munaf briefing JB

Some of the rooms at Shire Lodge

President Banda at Shire Lodge

Front of Shire Lodge

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