By Durell Namasani
President Peter Mutharika is in the UK to attend the UK-Africa Investment summit under the invitation of prime minister Boris Johnson. However , critics are already questioning if the president will be able to strike any meaningful business deals at the summit. One of the leaders of the MCP Diaspora Wing Allan Mandindi has gone on to describe the trip as one of those shopping trips.
Mandindi who is the Deputy leader of MCP Diaspora Wing said the problem is not the summit itself but the capability of the people on the entourage and whether they can be able to strike good investment deals for Malawi. “ We have heard or seen this before, it seems most of them just gets excited with the travelling, Sleeping in good hotels, accumulating allowances but fail to cut deals that will be beneficial for Malawi” Mandindi cited the recent Russia/Africa summit where Mutharilka spent time trying to get pictures with Vladmir Putin and came back with no business deals when countries like South Africa and Rwanda signed great business deals
Echoing these remarks , Spokesperson for MCP diaspora Wing Chalo Mvula agreed with Mandindi remarks that Malawi is not fully utilising these business summits effectively. Chalo Mvula who is also a foreign direct investment expert said failure by the DPP government to make Malawi attractive to investors is something that will put Mutharika at a disadvantage on this summit “Malawi is failing on the very basics of the conditions to attract FDI , our transport and infrastructures are poor, political instability , we have high levels of corruption, electricity problems are still ongoing. If you compare state of Malawi to other African countries who have also come to woo investors at the summit, then you will easily know that Mutharika has just come here in the UK for a little break” highlighted Mvula.
The summit which has been convened by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.
The UK hopes the event will strengthen its partnership with African nations and also mobilise new and substantial investment to create sustainable jobs, boost mutual prosperity, boost access to education, improve public services and give young people the opportunity to shape their own future.
Several private sector companies from Malawi are in attendance such as Cape Maclear Initiative and Nalipiri Holiday Resort from the tourism sector and Mchenga Mine from the mining sector, while the Green Belt Initiative, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), Export Development Fund, Malawi Agricultural Investment and Industrial Corporation and Lilongwe Water Board are among those from the public sector.