* It is imperative that we support initiatives that create opportunities for growth and investment
* We believe that this investment forum is the beginning of more and better investment opportunities
By Victor Singano Jnr
NICO Group, which comprises NBS Bank and Eris Properties, has supported the Malawi Investment Forum with K15 million for the its success, which is set to be hosted by the Ministry of Trade through the Malawi Consulate General on Wednesday and Thursday (May 24-25) at Emperor’s Palace in South Africa.
They join the Investment Forum’s lead partner, Standard Bank Malawi — who invested K50 million last week as Platinum sponsors alongside FDH Bank; Mukuru; National Bank of Malawi and Gold sponsors, Press Trust; Press Cooperation Plc and Blantyre Water Board.
Speaking on behalf of the NICO Group when announcing the sponsorship, NBS Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kwanele Ngwenya said the upcoming Investment Forum is an opportunity to hold hands to foster economic growth for the country — hence they thought it wise to support as the conference will create investment opportunities for the country.
“As key players in the finance sector in Malawi ourselves, it is imperative that we support initiatives that create opportunities for growth and investment,” Ngwenya said. “We believe that this investment forum is the beginning of more and better investment opportunities.”
He added that the Group is a key contributor to national development and an advocate for economic growth and that this sponsorship is a further indication of the Group’s commitment that drive.
“While the world continues to shift fundamentally, economies and companies need to make that shift too. We all need to take that step towards a more developed and independent Malawi.
“At NICO Group, we believe that initiatives like this forum will contribute towards positive conversations that will see Malawi achieve its MW2063 agenda,” he said.
The Malawi Investment Forum is being held under the theme ‘A Prosperous Malawi through Strategic Investment Partnerships’ — targetting sectors such as the energy, mining, agriculture, tourism, health & education, financial services and ICT.
The Malawi Mission in South Africa — through its Consulate and the High Commission — will host the Investment Forum in line with the Government agenda towards a number of economic recovery strategies, which are also incorporated in the MW2063 development blueprint.
The theme is in line with giving potential investors, financiers, and business captains an opportunity to engage and explore investment opportunities available in Malawi.
The Forum is expected to have three main activities: a conference, B2B meetings, and exhibitions, whose participation is free for invited delegates to learn about the Malawi’s bankable investment projects and network with over 300 delegates.
When announcing that her office will host the event last month, Malawi High Commissioner to South Africa, Her Excellency, Stella Ndau was quoted as saying: “The event has been organized to showcase the immerse and mostly greenfield investment opportunities available in Malawi, in various sectors, to South Africa-based potential investors and beyond”.
“As a country, Malawi is expected to benefit from any investments which will be achieved and secured at this event and that investors will also benefit and see value in the country’s rich and abundant natural resources, favourable climate for agriculture, and various tourist attractions among others.”
She is further quoted as saying the potential investors must seriously consider Malawi’s bankable projects and that they should know of such projects — hence the relevance of the Forum.
South Africa-based seasoned economist, Chifipa Mhango, Chief Economist for Don Consultancy Group, who is supporting the event with that country’s media channels coverage, also added credence to the importance of the forum, saying it is “a path in the right direction and fully endorse the initiative by the Malawi Government”.
“Trade and Investment are a key component for driving economic growth and prosperity to which Malawi should take advantage of. Malawi is a country that is well endowed with beautiful unexploited landscapes along the Lake Malawi shores, vast fertile arable land, rivers and lakes to support irrigation farming, newly discovered vast mineral resources and above all, political stability.”—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira