By Lisa Kadango Malango- Mana
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi’s Development Strategies offers numerous investment opportunities in Climate change and food security.
He made the remarks at the United Nations Capital Development Funds First Annual Investment Forum on the side-lines of the United Nations General assembly conference in New York on Thursday.
Chakwera said Malawi launched the long-term development strategy, Malawi2063 aimed at improving agricultural productivity and commercialization as one of the three pillars.
He explained that the strategy acknowledges environmental sustainability that includes Climate Change management as an enabler of Malawi’s goal of becoming a self-reliant middle-income industrialized country by 2063.
‘’These opportunities are outlined in the compendiums on investment projects and on Energy projects which are available through the Malawi investment and Trade Centre and the Malawi embassies in Washington DC as well as in New York.
‘’I urge you to seriously consider these opportunities while you have the chance for there is much interest as we promote direct investment for the incoming investors,’’ said Chakwera.
He adds that in Malawi most of the local private sector comprise the youth and women who are very crucial to the implementation of any programmes aimed at achieving food security and climate change management.
Chakwera revealed that Malawi government provide loans to Micro Small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) particularly to women and youths groups who are key partners of development in the community through National Economic Empowerment Fund.
The President called on stakeholders to consider partnering with the Fund to provide affordable financing to Malawi’s MSMEs.
He adds that there is need for private sector to be on the forefront to access affordable financing not government getting credit.
He argues that the global crisis, including Covid 19 pandemic and the War in Ukraine, have demonstrated that there is need to invest in food security systems in African countries like Malawi
‘’It breaks my heart to see how these crises have heavily affected the supply of essential commodities such as cooking oil and wheat flour on the continent hence Africa is blessed with vast arable land and fresh water in abundance,” said Chakwera.
On Agricultural productivity Chakwera explained that Malawi will be rolling out titling programme particularly for smallholder farmers as well as strengthening entrepreneurships access to high quality inputs, structured markets and scaling up vibrant cooperatives and investing in large scale irrigation and mega farm.
He stressed that Malawi is ready to welcome investors in mega farms through Public Private Partnerships and urged the investors to partner with Malawi.
Chakwera applauded the UNCDF for extending the Build Fund to Malawi in pursuit of these goals and engage Malawi on details regarding the mega farms initiatives that are ready for partnership.
Speaking earlier during the meeting UN Capital Development Fund Executive Secretary Preeti Sinha said Least Development Countries are in extreme poverty and face increased risk of food insecurity due to war in Ukraine hence the need to discuss possible solution to the problems.
She said one central element of UNCDF’s investment finance work is deployment of loans and guarantees to private and public SDG investments in LDCs with the aim to catalyse additional financing.
UN Capital Development Fund was established in 1966 and it makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and offers last mile finance models that unlock public and private resources especially at the domestic level with the aim pf reducing poverty and support local economic development.
Earlier President Lazarus Chakwera held discussion with UNICEF delegation to discuss key issues where UNICEF challenged that it will support and transform education in Malawi through digital technology.
He commended UNICEF for the support it renders to people of Malawi particularly for improving welfare of Children.
‘’Your efforts aimed at improving the well being of children under the three pillars development, humanitarian intervention and promotion of child in resilient communities is well notable,’’ said Chakwera
Chakwera said UNICEF played an important role in ensuring that countries like Malawi have access to Vaccines a development which is very significant because it reared to decline in cases caused by Covid 19 pandemic, Cholera Malaria as well as Polio among others.
He said his administration is grateful for the efforts to assist Malawi to control water borne and hygiene related diseases and other imitative efforts to ensuring that population has access to safe water clean sanitation following issues of cyclone destruction of other system Malawi experienced this year.
Chakwera explained that the health sector faces a lot of challenges to deliver services efficiently and effectively and requested UNICEF to increase its financial and technical support.