Organize yourselves, APM tells cooperatives as he launches Investment Corporation

Lilongwe: President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika Wednesday asked agricultural and industrial cooperatives to organize themselves if they are to benefit from investment corporations.

Speaking in Lilongwe during the launch of Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation (MAIIC), Mutharika emphasized on the need for agricultural investors to mobilize themselves and make use of financial innovations government is putting in place for them.

Malawians need to make use of the Investment Corporation. But for our people to participate meaningfully, we need to organize them. Let us move with speed to get our farmers organized, he said.

Mutharika said with the Investment Corporation, farmers can now access credit for irrigation and value addition activities more than ever as the country is now ready to start financing commercialization of agriculture.

The president further said with the investment corporation, farmers can form cooperatives, the only requirement for them to start thinking big and get organized.

I want to see fruit juices from the fruits of Mwanza. Let us see cooking oil from the sunflower of Chitipa. I want to see tinned fish from Lake Malawi. Let us see the skilled Youths of Ndirande empowered with machines to produce spare parts which they already produce using crude means, he said.

The institution will mobilize financial and other resources for investment in commercially viable projects, businesses, agriculture and industries, existing and new ones, aligned with national development priorities, he said.

According to Mutharika, MAIIC was specifically developed to support commercially viable investments in public and private sectors of the economy to consolidate and promote growth, productivity, employment, wealth creation and broad-based economic development.

Mutharika said the institution will work collaboratively with the existing banks and financial institutions, as a source of capital for the underserved key sectors of the economy, thereby accelerating the country’s economic growth.

The corporation will work autonomously with their own governance structures without interference from government. As Government, we have taken deliberate steps to create this autonomous and commercial institution.

This Investment Corporation is a private-public partnership. I want it to be run on the best principles of international practices, said the President.

I want to commend CDH Investment Bank for fighting with so much determination to make this happen. CDH Investment Bank will go down in history as the bank that led the new path of investment and creating wealth for Malawians, he said.

Making his remarks, board Chairperson for CDH investment Bank, Franklin Kennedy, said there was a financing gap in the private sector estimated at $4 billion.

Therefore, MAIIC has been designed to identify, manage and mitigate risks to enable the private sector and financial institutions to finance projects and new businesses, Kennedy said.

He added, Integral to its approach is to complement and add in other financial intermediaries by providing appropriate financial and non-financial instruments.

Kennedy said Malawi has potential to compete favourably with regional and international markets, but said there was need to empower small and medium enterprises financially.

MAIIC has been launched after a feasibility study the Government of Malawi commissioned in 2013 showed there was great need to develop a financial institution in Malawi.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA