President Peter Mutharika has expressed hopes of an upward spiral in the country’s economy and tourism industry when the face lift of Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) gets completed.
The first citizen expressed the optimism at KIA on Friday, after the ground breaking ceremony which officially marked commencement of the expansion project of the international airport.
In his statement, the Head of State said expansion of the airport would mean more visitors to the country and enhanced inter-country relations with positive reflections on the economy and the tourism industry.
“This is just the beginning; next (to be transformed) is Chileka followed by Mzuzu and Mangochi airports. We want to effect fair distribution of development in all the regions,” explained Mutharika who further added; “The bigger and the more modern our airports, the more the travelers who bring in revenue.”
He also stated that expansion of the KIA was the beginning of the fulfillment of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) promise which will expand to the other regions including Likoma Island.
He said airports in Likoma and Mangochi would also make Lake Malawi a tourist attraction center.
The 24 months US$ 33 million (about K 25.7 billion) Japanese funded project will include construction of aircraft surveillance equipment, baggage handling system and security equipment.
Speaking earlier at the event, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Kae Yanagisawa explained that good aviation was critical for a country’s development in the modern world and Malawi, being landlocked, will stand to benefit a lot from the project.
She also said Japan’s funding of the project was manifestation of the good bilateral relations between the two countries.