Franklin Kennedy, CDHIB chairperson of the Board
* We have led the implementation of transformative projects in agri-business
* Which has changed life in a rural community and signifies the potential for MEGA farms in transforming the Malawi economy
* The bank has partnered with various corporates and is currently working diligently to provide customized solutions
* To certain large government-backed institutions in the agriculture sector
By Victor Singano Jnr, Correspondent
While most countries are at a risk of facing food shortages, CDH Investment Bank expresses confidence in Malawi’s arable land, fresh water and relatively cheap labour as appropriate ingredients for effective large-scale commercial farming — which can contribute to the economic growth.
In a press statement, the Bank says several sectors in the country have potential for economic growth and that the energy sector — through the use of natural endowments such as water and solar — has the great potential to generate optimum electricity for industrial and domestic use.
CDH Investment Bank’s chairperson of the Board, Franklin Kennedy is quoted in the statement as saying: “Despite the numerous challenges including the CoVID-19 pandemic over the years, we are proud to have led mandates supporting capital raising and restructurings in financial services, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, and tourism.
“In particular, we have led the implementation of transformative projects in agri-business which has changed life in a rural community and signifies the potential for MEGA farms in transforming the Malawi economy”.
Kennedy also disclosed that the bank has partnered with various corporates and is currently working diligently to provide customized solutions to certain large government-backed institutions in the agriculture sector.
He, therefore, urged the Malawi government to invest in the mining sector and associated developments which could potentially improve the country’s income.
“Malawi being a landlocked country, as a bank, we believe that if the country is actively engage its neighbors to streamline road and rail transportation that will facilitate easier export of goods and services as well as importation of raw materials for future industry there will be an improvement in the country’s economic growth,” he said.
The Bank, that started as Continental Discount House Limited (CDH) has been operating in the financial sector since August 1998 before it converted to an investment bank in April 2012.
As the leading investment bank in Malawi, the bank prides itself in offering unique services to its customers including advisory services to the Government and other institutions, research, deal origination, and financial instruments trading and has access to both local and international capital markets.
On Monday, the leading investment bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kwame Ahadzi implored key players in the economy to give urgent attention to export development, which can lead to generation of foreign exchange.
In a press release Ahadzi said Malawi has a lot of exporting opportunities that are currently underutilized, citing as an example growing of soya, sugar, cotton and other top agricultural crops for export — which are mostly produced in small quantities.
“We believe an investment in the agribusiness and other sectors could largely contribute towards the foreign exchange generation in the country,” he said, adding that the country’s foreign exchange reserves continue to be under pressure due to the dwindling of gross domestic product (GDP).
Ahadzi, therefore requested official and private sector reserves, Malawi’s economic players, public and the private to implement forex generation activities in order to improve the forex situation in the country and support economic activities.
He also urged the country to implement deliberate efforts for imports substitution while developing exports which can be realized through industrialization and tailored and efficient technological development to accelerate production and value addition.
“Malawi has suffered severe forex shortages, especially this year, in addition to the devaluation of its national currency,” he said. “To fix the forex exchange shortages, measures looking to address both the demand and supply side of foreign exchange need to be adopted.”
According to the bank, the country has over the years been depending on its main cash crop, burley tobacco to generate forex. However, in recent years Malawi has invested in tea, sugar, and soya beans in a bid to diversify its exports.