Thumbs up APM, Lake Malawi oil key to economic boom: Nonsense of Tanzania owning part of the lake must stop!

Malawi, a small southern Africa nation, remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Malawi has depended on agriculture for economic survival over the years. The main cash crops are tobacco and tea while maize is largely grown for consumption purposes. Maize is our staple food.

In the economic state we are in today, after over 50 years of political independence, it is obvious that agriculture has done miserably little to accelerate economic growth. This is why for over decades, a song of economic diversification has been sung by many politicians, economists, development partners and academicians, among others.

Mining has been one of the major sectors that are considered as catalysts for rapid economic and social development in Malawi.

However, mining alone does not seem to be the perfect way out of perpetual poverty for the people of Malawi. The case of Kayerekera in Karonga is a case in point.

According to experts, Lake Malawi is sitting on potentially lucrative oil reserves, which, if properly exploited and managed, would help us completely turnaround the perpetually fragile economy.

So when His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) touts about his government’s serious intentions to invest in oil exploration in Lake Malawi, Malawians must have a reason to sigh some relief because oil drilling all over the world generates substantial economic gains.

I am aware there are some pessimists who believe that oil drilling shall seriously endanger Lake Malawi’s ecosystem and thus talk of oil drilling is mere unacceptable.

I dare say today that this type of thinking is archaic and retrogressive. Oil drilling, as the President rightly believes, is a sure catalyst for Malawi’s economic boom.

Compatriots, oil is big business all over the world when properly run. Many countries in the Middle East including Iran, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq have experienced immense economic upsurges due to oil drilling and trade.

Malawi would earn billions of Kwacha in revenue through oil drilled from Lake Malawi. This revenue would come from selling of leases to oil companies, bonuses from companies bidding against each other and royalties from production activities.

This money would trickle down to ordinary Malawians who shall enjoy improved delivery service, including five-star medical services. Our children will receive quality and affordable education and our road rail infrastructure will be world class while our airports will be big enough to accommodate major world airlines.

Not only will oil exploration and drilling activities address the issue of high unemployment in Malawi, but it will achieve the goal of higher revenues without raising taxes.

Indeed, President Mutharika is dreaming in colour, envisaging a Malawi with strong economic growth rate through oil exports. According to economic experts, the oil industry is key to genuine and real growth in Africa, including Malawi. Currently, the oil market is dominated by five major players, who account for 85 percent of the continent’s production. They are Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Angola and Libya. But other countries including Ghana, Uganda and Kenya are also expanding their oil exploration and drilling. Malawi cannot afford to lag behind when prospects of oil exploitation and its obvious resultant economic benefits are there.

I am not an expert marine scientist and I will not therefore trash any fears of negative impact on marine life during oil drilling.

However, I still believe that the benefits accruing to the country of oil exploitation in Lake Malawi far outweigh the dangers to marine life. We cannot afford to continue to live in abject poverty when we are sitting on a lucrative resource called oil.

Indeed, experience show us that in some African countries where oil is exploited, citizens have not benefited, courtesy of the so-called ‘resource curse’ whereby instead of contributing to a stronger economy and prosperous society, oil trade result in the rise of fat cat oil barons, institutionalized corruption and environmental catastrophe while the general populace is left in the same, if not greater, poverty as before.

I am hopeful that our dear President will have this in mind and facilitate favourable regulation guiding oil exploitation and how citizens would benefit from the lucrative resource.

According to Ibibia Worik, an extractives expert at the Commonwealth Secretariat, transparency around the allocation of licenses and revenues; the establishment of an oil revenue management fund; and ongoing investment in other productive areas of the economy would provide citizens with the means to hold their government to account over oil governance, and an assurance of continued stability when wells run dry.

“A discovery would transform the Malawian economy from its current struggles into a multi-billion dollar one in an instant”, he said.

Finally, this nonsense by Tanzania to claim part or the whole Lake Malawi must stop. We have wholly owned Lake Malawi for over 100 years, according to international laws. Oil exploration or exploitation should not be a motivation to forcibly grab our Lake Malawi, Tanzania!

“The good Lord put oil and gas there for us to find and use, and we’d better do it.”- Red Adair

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petro ntchito
Guest

I love his stand on defending the lake. he has really shown that he is great man.

winston msowoya
Guest
Tragically,both Peter and Thom are in a group of obsequious ignoramus.They are not thinking through their heads but rather,through their asses.Can these two uninformed fools mention one oil-producing State in Africa that has developed its nation to the economic benefit of the masses of its people? In Nigeria,the fourth largest producer of oil in the world,with 200 million people in population,are mostly intensively poor,but their nation and a handful of their political leaders,in one respect at least,are fabulously wealthy.Heart-breakingly,exports of Nigerian crude oil generates revenues of tens of billions of dollars each year.Apart from thefty in oil Industry,another source of… Read more »
Dauzya
Guest
Mr Author trickle down economics is utterly an imagination. You have gat to realise that there is a gap between fantasy and reality. All what I’m saying is that I don’t allow your excitement or frustration about the subject matter swamp your reasoning abilities. Trickle down economics that is being glorified here only works on the paper not the other way round, in fact, the evidence around the world (including the economic powerhouse, USA) support this premise. Worse still, our establishment is far from supporting your position with respect your trickle down assertion. I think its high time we realise… Read more »
Mndambala boy
Guest
A Thom zijazi kumaona , do you really see the light at the end of the tunnel to your children? With this leadership of thieves? I thought you are capable to tackle issues like you have been doing, alas! Unless we change the government, the oil issues will be nothing for us but these nonsense people you call them leaders. You can’t you see how hungry they are on poor people like ogogo wako omwe amangova zoti kuli atsogoleri koma mbava zokhazokha? Man, not with DPP led Government, wake up Thomu, sinthawi yomagona ino, bwanji mwakhuta mphonda mwayamba kale kuyiwala… Read more »
Chalume
Guest

There are a number of issues I see this article carelessly asserts and ends up losing the credibility I have always held Tom Chiumia with as a writer. The emotional tone risks the objectivity the article should have courted.

tozer tsono
Guest
Well, what a rosy future you project for Malawi! What about corruption though? Malawi can’t even manage money citizens pay into tax. Even worse, it is as hard as a camel going through the eye of a needle to bring cases of corruption to their legal conclusion. Look at Muluzi’s case or Chilumpha’s case, maizegate, and other cashgate cases in the system or Njauji’s case or Chasowa’s case, etc; where is justice? Without justice you can’t expect oil drilling alone to inject the badly needed cash into the miserable lives of Malawians and their economy. Besides, Malawi has the curse… Read more »
CIVIL SERVANT
Guest

This of course based on the assumption that there are no other chaponda’s in government, otherwise all the money will benefit ministers of the government of the day and not our poor grandparents in the villages.

Ali Ayami Jestar
Guest

Please go on APM go on Malawi, you got my vote 2019
we need people like you, you are A MAN. Longlive APM longlive Malawi !!!
………… LAKE MALAWI / OIL MALAWI ………..

Mndambala boy
Guest

Mbuli Ina ndibiyi pansi pano

FavouredFrancis
Guest

I don’t believe this will indeed benefit ordinary Malawians , Think of Kayelekera what have we benefited from it

M Sizini
Guest

Such unbridled optimism must reflect the victory of naivety over experience. Ask the people of the Niger Delta how much their lives have ‘improved’ since the exploitation of their oil resources began.

John Black
Guest

Right. And the populations of Angola, Tchad, South Sudan.

Chu
Guest

You are pointing very far. Karonga’s uranium is a good example

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