This weekend, Jambo Africa Online’s Publisher, SAUL MOLOBI, focuses on Malawi as an investment and trade destination.

Malawi is a land-linked country covering 118,500 square meters. The country is surrounded by huge markets on all its fronts, with Mozambique offering a population of 31.26 million people on the east and southwest, Tanzania with over 59.73 million people on the north and northeast, and Zambia 17 million people on the west and northwest. Just beyond this country there are other huge countries such as Zimbabwe which has a population 14.86 million and Democratic Republic of Congo with population of over 89.56 million.

All these countries are either member of SADC and COMESA to which Malawi exports manufactured products duty-free as long as they comply with a pre-stipulated minimum of local content. Malawi thus is a hub of production that conveniently directly interfaces three market fronts with a total population of over 100 million people, and indirectly to a market of (Zimbabwe and DRC) within 2-12 hours. 

The country is blessed with vast natural resources and it enjoys vast tracts of beautiful natural scenery including game reserves and sandy beaches along the beautiful Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world and holds the most diverse number of fish species in one single body – over 800 species. 

Democratic principles are firmly engrained in the country; since its independence in 1964, the country has never suffered a civil war and its political leaders have come to power through a democratic electoral process. Free-market principles are also firmly engrained and successive Governments have continued to open up and liberalize Malawi’s economy.

Malawi’s investment sectors are guided by the 2012 Investment and Export Promotion Act. The following are the key sectors.

•          Agriculture

•          Agro-processing

•          Fisheries

•          Forestry

•          Manufacturing

•          Mining

•          Tourism

Peter Kwengwere: On the driving seat of the MITC

Paul Kwengwere is the current Chief Executive Officer of Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), a government institution that is mandated to promote and facilitate trade and investment in Malawi. 

As a CEO for MITC Paul is responsible for identifying and developing strategies that promote Malawi as an ideal investment and trade destination in Africa. Paul is driving the government of Malawi’s agenda on improving the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment into the country and also identifying international markets for Malawian products.

Before assuming his role at MITC, Paul has worked in various institutions including the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Malawi Common Service, Action Aid International, Investec Asset Management in London (UK) and World Education Inc. in Massachusetts (USA) holding senior managerial and leadership positions. 

He has vast experience in public finance, strategic management and leadership, and development economics. 

Paul also founded PMK Associates, a consulting firm, and has been involved in formulating and assisting implementing economic and financial strategies for the Government of Malawi, inter-agencies, non-profit and donor organisations including UNDP, OXFAM, and FAO. He once served as President of Economics Association of Malawi between 2003 and 2005. 

He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School – Harvard University (USA) and is Yale University (USA) World Fellow. He also holds a Master of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Social Science from University of Malawi.