Diaspora Malawians urged to invest at home for economic development

Malawi’s ambassador to the United States Steve Matenje has implored Malawians in the diaspora especially those in  United States (US) to consider investing back home in Malawi in areas of trade, education and health sectors in order to reinvigorate the country’s socio-economic development. 

“The size of the investment is not necessary but the impact it makes in improving the quality of life of ordinary people is what matters. I want you to know that the Malawi government appreciates your efforts, no matter how small,” Matenje said.

Matenje made the call in Washington D.C last weekend during an official event that marked the commemoration of Malawi’s 49th anniversary of independence which Malawi attained from its colonial masters, the British close to five decades ago when the federation of Nyasaland and Rhodesia was broken.

Matenje: Invest back home
Matenje: Invest back home

“For Malawi to develop, we need all Malawians to take part. If we can’t develop our country no one else will. If not us then who? if not now then when? Every Malawian has a duty and responsibility to commit himself or herself in developing the country,” said Matenje matter-of-factly.

The Malawian envoy to Washington noted that Malawi stands to make a meaningful and sustainable socio-economic development only if she makes adequate investment in the people, especially through such sectors as education, health,  trade and industry.

Matenje pointed out that now that the current government of Joyce Banda has put in place sound economic policies for trade and investment in Malawi, it is incumbent and apparent upon Malawians in the Diaspora to complement government’s economic efforts by investing in Malawi in whatever way possible, small or big.

Said Matenje: “I commend Malawians in the United States who have already invested in various ways including building school blocks or  whole schools, supporting libraries, paying schools fees for disadvantaged children, buying farm inputs for relatives and sinking boreholes among other initiatives.”

He said the Malawi Embassy in Washington is continuously looking at ways in which it can facilitate greater participation of Malawian residents the United States towards the enhancement of social and economic development of the country.

“The doors of the Embassy are always open, therefore do not hesitate to contact the embassy or me personally directly, if there is anything we can do to help for you to participate in the development of our beautiful country. This is what our President wants Malawians in the Diaspora to do for Malawi,” he stated.

Matenje observed that as resilient as Malawians are, there is still greater need for the harmonization of efforts if Malawi were to make meaningful strides in poverty alleviation.

“Malawians resident in the United States and those at home must  join hands and work together to turn the many underutilized natural resources we have into wealth. As a country we need to confront poverty in all dimensions,” said the ambassador.

The celebrations held in Washington  was marked with pomp as the event’s after party was themed on an all white spiced by red attire dinner and dance party and a Malawian cuisine picnic which was  organized by Malawi Expo, a company co-founded by Felix Lindeire and Alex Chanthunya, a renowned Washington based lawyer.

In a separate joint interview with Nyasa Times on the sidelines of the event, Lindeire and Chanthunya said Malawi Expo is working in collaboration with the Malawi Mission in Washington to promote Malawi business interests in the United States and vice-versa.

“We seek to facilitate international trade, consultancy and promotion of arts and cultural heritage through music and dances between Malawi and the United States. “ said Lindeire.

“In terms of trade,” Chanthunya said, “Malawi Expo will be acting as a liaison between Malawians and their American counterparts seeking to engage in import and export business.”

The two said they intend to impress upon Malawians to export such commodities as tea, coffee, peanuts, cotton and other agricultural products to the US, while facilitating the purchase of farm equipment from their American counterparts.

Turning to the arts and cultural fronts, the Chanthunya and Lindeire divulged that they intend to fly the Malawian flag aloft by promoting the Malawian cultural heritage by bringing Malawian Bands and dance groups to showcase their art in the United States.

“We have plans to start bringing Malawian artists to showcase their untapped talent in the US as a way to promote our cultural heritage. We want to fly the Malawian flag high and put our country on the world map in terms of cultural heritage and arts. We believe Malawian artists have what it takes to compete on the world stage artistically but just lack the needed exposure,” said Lindeire.

According to Chanthunya and Lindeire, Malawi Expo is planning to host a Malawian beauty pageant in December this year and that those that will emerge winners stand a chance to compete in the Miss Africa and Miss world pageants respectively.

Envoy Matenje his wife with Francis Msonthi and his wife
Envoy Matenje his wife with Francis Msonthi and his wife
Malawians party in US
Malawians party in US
John Chongwe with Francis msonthi and his wife at the event
John Chongwe with Francis msonthi and his wife at the event
Dancing for Malaiw festive celebrations
Dancing for Malawi  festive celebrations

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