TOKYO-(MaraviPost)- In a bid to boost economic growth, Malawi’s newly appointed Minister of Trade and Industry Henry Mussa, this week appealed for equal financing on serious investments for African countries.
The Trade Minister made the call during this year’s Africa-Japan Business Forum, currently underway in Japan. The aim of the forum is to provide business stakeholders from Japan and Africa an opportunity to share business ideas, opportunities, and network on various thematic areas of energy and power, agriculture and agri-business, infrastructure, trade and industrialisation, financing for projects in Africa, and health and sanitation.
Mussa told the gathering that despite increased agricultural production and food self-sufficiency, agri-business and value addition in many Africa countries, their economies retain their shrinking modes due to poor financing.
Mussa pointed out that some African countries are grappling with how to develop their economies so as to uplift the lives of their people, and at the same time, fight poverty and underdevelopment.
He urged Japanese companies to take over the investment portfolio in the Africa and help develop the region into a formidable economic arena that will be the model of the entire world, through direct Japanese investment, or through partnerships with local investors that are already established in the region.
The Minister added that there is the need to move with urgency to uplift the lives and social wellbeing of the majority of the people, whereby captains of industries could seize opportunities to partner and grow with local investors.
“We also realise that an empowered nation should have healthy people who are provided with appropriate sanitation systems.
For African countries to undertake all these daunting tasks, there is the need for equity financing.
Therefore, deliberate intervention policy in Africa encourages member states to invest in innovation and technology capabilities, so that Africa can expand its manufacturing base.
“We need you to invest in developing our innovation and technology capabilities; for the reason that we ourselves do not have the financial muscle,” said Mussa.
With the funding from African Diplomatic Corps and the African Development Bank (ADB), the 2nd Africa-Japan Business Forum attracted investors, financial institutions, government officials, ministers from both Africa and Japan.
Malawi is currently at level 133 out of 162 countries on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ with the desire to be in the top 100.
Investment Licences are obtained within five working days; border agencies have been reduced from 22 to 5, to facilitate trade.
The Land Act was promulgated to allow the State to easily redistribute land to would-be investors, various incentives including tax holidays, investment allowances, have been put in place.
Malawi’s constitution guarantees equal participation of businesses in qualifying areas. Further, Malawi is a free-market economy and foreign investors are allowed to repatriate 100% of profits and dividends.
The policy also allows 100% ownership of private investment unless stipulated. However, joint venture with locals is encouraged for employment purposes.