President Professor Peter Mutharika has asked Malawians to resurrect the spirit of national pride, dignity and self esteem by consuming domestically produced products.
Mutharika made the appeal Thursday in Lilongwe during the launch of the Buy Malawi Strategy which encourages Malawian citizens to support the local industries by buying locally produce goods and services.
The President said for over 52 years, the country has failed to tackle chronic challenges that weakened the productive sector. This, he said has turned the country into a consuming nation with low base of production and export.
“We have undermined our nation confidence, crushed our self esteem and broken our national pride and dignity for too long. We must start to believe in our products and services,” explained Mutharika.
He added, “Who will believe in our products if we the owners cannot believe in them and how can we become an exporting nation if we don’t believe in our products. This is time for us to embrace our locally made goods and services.”
Mutharika then described the Buy Malawi Strategy such a platform through which the country would improve its investment opportunities, change business strategies, create jobs and facilitate increase exportation of goods.
“Through this strategy, we want to stimulate local production, promote the spirit of industrialization, create competitiveness and create more jobs that will in-return create wealth for the country.
“And, through the strategy, we expect to improve our foreign exchange base as importation of goods is expected to drop down,” the President said.
To show seriousness and commitment, the President said the government of Malawi will accelerate public sector reforms as well as business reforms and create a more conducive business environment.
Furthermore, the President said government is intensifying irrigation programmes aimed at increasing productivity since agriculture is the only source of raw materials.
“We are driving in foreign direct investors who will be part of local industry. Besides, we are creating a buy- Malawi convincing and conducive environment by making our laws, policies and energy supply ideal for the purpose,” Mutharika emphasized.
President of Malawi confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Newton Kambala commended government through the Ministry of Industry and Trade for formulating and launching the strategy through which he said many local companies would be encouraged to work and produce goods and services beyond their capabilities.
Kambala said Malawi as country has the potential and expertise to produce anything that is currently imported from foreign countries, however, the culture of inferiority is what is killing the country.
“When many companies were being privatized we thought there will be change in both production and quality of both goods and services, however this has not been the case. Today, what we need as a country is to promote and domesticate consumption of goods and services,” Kambala explained.
He called upon the government to be the first one to utilize locally made products through its ministries, departments and agencies.
Meanwhile, as a way of setting an example, the President who has also been branded the champion of the Buy Malawi Strategy has directed that all public procuring entities must buy at least 30 percent of goods and services from Malawi base enterprises.
Mutharika has also directed that civil servants and public servants in all government ministries, department agencies and parastatals on Friday should wear clothes produced in Malawi and that the ministry of lands , housing and urban development must prioritize allocation of land to enterprises and investors that intent to manufacture goods and provide services on our land.