Sycamore Consult’s wealth creation conference in line with planning commission’s successor to Vision 2020

Billiat making his presentation

By Duncan Mlanjira

The first wealth creation and personal finance conference which was organised by micro finance institution, Sycamore Consult is in line with Malawi government’s successor to Vision 2020 which National Planning Commission is developing.

Held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre on Tuesday, NPC was represented at the conference by its Chief Economist, Sipho Billiat, who applauded Sycamore Consult for coming up with the initiative since the successor to Vision 2020 has a new national development agenda, which is spearheading wealth creation for all.

Some of the business gurus

He said the Vision 2020’s focus was to reduce poverty but now the new narrative is from from poverty reduction to spearheading wealth creation for all beyond the survival basics to higher wealth levels.

“The focus on wealth creation is important for two reasons; first, it entails thinking positively about the need to create jobs for our people through a vibrant private sector and entrepreneurial population. 

“For a long time, the focus has been on poverty reduction which has a negative image of wanting to make efforts to be better off but assumes that we have accepted to be poor as it is just reducing on poverty and not eliminating it. 

Mwala, Sycamore Consult MD

“The strategies this far have hence largely revolved around providing the basics for a poor person but it’s time to think beyond the basics and help every Malawian to meet their full potential and generate wealth for themselves and the country to live dignified lives.

“Secondly, if we have a nation that is creating wealth, the country will be able to generate its own resources (forex and domestic resource mobilization) with which to realize the new Vision — basically supporting its development agenda primarily using its own resources and not looking externally for support all the time.”

He said for this to be achieved there is need to have positive mindset change by identifying catalytic initiatives that are working along with patriotism, discipline, focus, honesty, integrity, disdain for hand-outs and hard work.

FDH Bank’s Mpinganjira

In the new national development agenda, focus on agricultural commercialization will have value addition in the private sector will be engaged to target increased production and productivity.

Just like tobacco, use of structured markets for all crops identified as strategic for exports – like oil seed crops, cotton, rice, industrial  hemp – will ensure volumes, minimize side-selling and promote required standards.

He said the need to link to the continental/African-driven aspirations manifested in Agenda 2063 of a prosperous, integrated/united and peaceful continent are all elements of which remain relevant to Malawi, hence, hence the proposed ‘National Transformational 2063.’ 

Some of the delegates

“The period has to be long enough to largely target the welfare of future generations – where do we see the future of the largely smallholder community 40 years from now?”

Other speakers included Dr. Thomson Mpinganjira, Group Chief Executive Officer of FDH  Financial Holdings Limited; Simon Itaye — former Managing director of Packaging Industries now known as Nampak; experienced insurance professional, Stain Singo (who established his own insurance company, Smile Life); Mike Mlombwa (owner of Countrywide Car Hire);  Jimmy Koreia Mpatsa of Mpatsa Investments; entrepreneur and philanthropist Napoleon Dzombe; Sycamore’s managing director Audrey Mwala and several others.

They all presented positive subjects such as investment lessons from an entrepreneur by Mpinganjira; role of financial literacy and financial capability by Madalitso Chamba; strategic thinking by Audrey Mwala; wealth creation by Stain Singo and financial independence and retirement planning by Simon Itaye among others.

Through its Director General, Dr. Thomas Munthali, NPC also presented the same subject of National Transformational 2063 at this year’s Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) annual conference last Saturday at Sun ‘n’ Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi, whose theme was ‘Repositioning Africa’s Economic Renaissance – Malawi in the Equation’.