JB back with bang from WEF: 7 foreign companies declare interest to invest in Malawi

Welcome home your excellency, Army commander General Odilo and  Police chief Lot Dzodzi welomes the president at KIA - Pic by Lisa Vintulla
Welcome home your excellency, Army commander General Odilo and Police chief Lot Dzodzi welomes the president at KIA – Pic by Lisa Vintulla

At least seven companies that held discussions with the Malawi delegation at the World Economic Forum on Africa which ends Friday in Cape Town, South Africa, have declared their interest to engage into further discussions with Malawi for investment in the country.

The companies are Cargill – Cotton; Bunge – Sugar and Legumes; Uniliver – Oil seeds; Monsanto – Seed Production; United Phosphorous – Fertiliser manufacturing Feed Crop Manufacturing and Agico- Farm Equipment.

The seven companies are among the 27 private sector companies that Malawi mobilised and engaged on specifics of their interest in the country.

President Dr Joyce Banda, who has since returned to Malawi, has described the forum which pooled together African Heads of State and Government, business captains, members of the academia and civil society, as highly successful.

The forum reflected on a wide range of economic issues affecting the continent including how to accelerate economic diversification; boost strategic infrastructure, unlock Africa’s talent, promote governance on the continent and develop new business models for Agriculture.

This is the first time that a Malawian Head of State has participated in the World Economic Forum for Africa.

On trade, the Malawi delegation participated in a number of trade and investment related forums where they shared the country’s vision of a private sector-led growth, and improvements Malawi is making to make it a more favourable destination for doing business.

“In this regard, we shared what we are doing in reviewing existing laws and policies in order to better facilitate trade and investment in Malawi,” said President Banda.

On agriculture, President Banda participated in the high level forums on Grow Africa and the Leaders Council Meeting as preparation for Malawi to become a partner in the G8 New Alliance For Food Security and Nutrition. This announcement will be made at the G8 meeting in London on June 8, 2013.

“I look at our participation in the New Alliance as a strategy to accelerate investments in Agriculture.

“I had the opportunity to listen to some of the experiences of the countries that are already in the New Alliance like Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania and it was very clear that they have benefited from their participation through increased volumes of investments in agriculture from foreign and local investors, creation of jobs, boosting of markets domestically and internationally,” said the Malawi leader.

During the meetings President Banda highlighted that the Malawi Government has given priority to the agriculture sector and adopted a new approach of looking at agriculture as a business.

The President also informed the meetings that Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa to have met the Maputo Declaration of allocating at least 10 percent of its national budget to the agriculture sector for consecutive years;

The Malawi leader also shared that Malawi has developed an agriculture private sector investment plan which identified specific investment opportunities that would allow joint ventures with Malawian firms as well as public private partnerships with the Malawi Government.

“I also highlighted the importance of making sure that the benefits of agriculture really trickle down to the rural households. I repeated my call for the need to bring real incomes to the households, and making sure agriculture benefits women and the youth,” said President Banda.

On Women’s Leadership, the Malawi President, Dr Nkosazana Zuma-Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the Minister of Finance for Nigeria, took the opportunity of the Forum to bring issues of women’s leadership to the table.

They argued a case for increased attention to women farmers in the Grow Africa Initiative.

“I also particularly made a call for the grand strategy for the promotion of women’s potential in leadership positions. I asked the delegates to consider all the levels at which women should be supported.”

Note to editors

Other Presidents that attended the Forum were, President Jacob Zuma, President Good Luck Jonathan, President Boni Yayi, President Kikwete.

Other High Level Participants were Former President Mozambique H.E Chissano of Mozambique, Former President of Ghana, H.E  John Kuffuor of Ghana, Former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and representatives from the G8 Countries notably UK Secretary of State for DFID Ms Justine Greening, USAID Administrator Mr Raj Shah.

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