Malawi to launch own chapter of CEO Africa Round Table forum on Friday 

Malawi business community is on Friday, February 24, set to launch its own chapter of CEO Africa Round Table — a high level platform and community of business captains and thought leaders on issues that are bent to drive development in Africa.

A statement from the event’s organising coordinator, Harry Chima — managing executive for Wealth Magazine — says the CEO Africa Round Table “is a platform for corporate chief executive officers, institutional leaders, both in the private and public sectors, that was created to engender cross fertilization of critical economic and business knowledge in and around Africa”.

“CEO’s are integral in the operations of companies and quasi-government institutions, which makes their positioning in economic development strategic.

“The Round Table serves to empower leaders across African countries with a wide range of benefits including research, which is vital for business success, synergies between countries, investment facilitation, business and investment profiling and CEO activism, among others.”

He added that the Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCTA) “opened the continent wide to business for the benefit and advantage of its inhabitants to trade within countries easily than it was before”.

“The Intra-African Trade Fair has been set up in order to push for the realization of trade within the continent. With the world as a global village, countries need to leverage on what they are able to offer to others countries within the continent and beyond — therefore helping catalyse their economic growth.

“Malawi is no exception to this and, therefore, she has to position herself right in order to benefit from what the continent offers besides what the continent may need from her as she pursues MW2063 agenda — the long term Malawian dream of becoming a middle income country.”

He added credence of the benefits that the country’s economy would attain through creation of the Malawi Chapter, saying the CEO Africa Round Table, in collaboration with Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) and Wealth Magazine — a local entrepreneurial business magazine — hosted a Zimbabwe-Malawi Mission “whose aim was to synergize our business efforts and also to see the needs that the two countries can symbiotically complement each other on”.

“It was elating to note that different business deals were concluded during the Mission, including a trucking business which — after delivering coal into the country — was going back empty.

“But now the trucks go back with loads of our aromatic Kilombero rice, thereby supporting and improving the business ecosystem between the two countries,” China said.

Thus, “the foregoing necessitated that the CEO Africa Round Table Malawi Chapter be created, whose tagline is ‘Inspiring Africa’s Progress through Collaborative Business Leadership’ — to enhance the working relationship between different African countries in order to improve their business relationships and therefore their economies.”

The launch on Friday will be at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) from 18:00hrs where CEO’s and institutional leaders, relevant Ministries and Departments with the Government of Malawi, Sub-saharan Embassies and Consulates and a delegation from CEO Africa Round Table (Zimbabwe) will grace the auspicious event.

“The launch will be spiced with a touch of some Malawian music performances and will also be an opportunity to share some of the activities that the local chapter will be involved in, as a way of contributing to the local economy.”

Wealth Magazine, Malawi’s quarterly local entrepreneurial and business magazine, is playing a huge role in revitalizing the country’s business environment and economy in the past few years.

In June last year, it helped organise a CEO’s Summit also at BICC, under the theme: ‘Catalyzing Our Economic Growth Through Partnerships and Radical Investment’, where the business captains from various companies and organizations shared ideas on how they would help the growth of economy of the country and create conducive business environment.

In November last year, the Magazine teamed up with Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation (MAIIC) to host an inaugural Startup Masterclass series — which came amidst a growing challenge in terms of employment opportunities in the country especially among the demographic dividend — the youth.

While in 2020, it organised the first-ever women’s summit on wealth creation — Wealth Woman Summit — whose panelists were accomplished Malawian women professionals that included Associate Law Professor, Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo; Mdingase Tewete (managing director of Kombeza Foods); Dr. Margaret Chaika (chief executive officer for Face Forward Group) and Patience Chatsika from Old Mutual Malawi, amongst others.

The event brought together the array of women speakers from different industries that are accomplished in their efforts to support the evolution of the middle class in Malawi — which is a catalyst in the provision of an established consumer base that influences socio-economic growth with a focus on women.

In 2021, its Wealth Woman Digital, a local entrepreneurial and business magazine championing, among others, narrative change from poverty to wealth creation, highlighted eight women who were first achievers in their field.

They are — not in their order of merit — Catherine Gotani Hara (first Speaker of Parliament); Dr. Joyce Banda (Malawi’s first female State President); Dr. Tamiwe Tomoka (first female pathologist); Prof. Address Malata (first Vice-Chancellor of prestigious Malawi University of Technology and Sciences (MUST).

As well as Dorothy Ngwira, (first female Chartered Public Accountant (CPA); Justice Anastazia Msosa (first woman High Court Judge as well as chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC); Mbumba Banda (first female to manage a major news print and media company, Nation Publications Limited) and Yolanda Kaunda — Malawi’s first female airline captain.

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