Tuesday, May 16, 2006

JCI Lilongwe News

Firstly I would like to pass my personal sincere condolences to Chancy Simwaka on the loss of his wife on the 12th May 2006. Burial was at Area 18 cemetry on Sunday 14th May 2006. May her soul RIP and let the almighty guide Chancy through these try times.

Secondly JCI National Convention 2004 Guest of Honor, who is the current Minister of Mining & Natural resources was part of the Malawi delegation who signed the landmark deal with Qatar firm more details in this post.


Thursday, May 11, 2006


This week my mind and eagle's eye have caught a few articles which appeared in the Nation Newspaper of the 10th May 2006. The other issue I have commented on was on my yesterdays post.

Post dictatorship we have seen trickle of Arabs traders in the country mostly of lebanese descent. Initially we saw them in the Minibus business when the brought ricket old DCM Toyota Buses form Zambia. ( I dont know how the passed the Road Test). In a couple of years we have seen them diversify into property, restaurant and other ventures which i dont know off. My coment is mainly on the Lilongwe ( capital city) activities of this group. The only worry amongst the general citizenry is the fact that the have good land and some of the buildings are painted in awkward colors fit for the villages or rural resthouses.

The landscape has changed forever, although some resentment boils underneath as to how these new arrivals got the land.

Effects of 9/11 havent spared malawi since most Arabs funds seek alternative destinations in the face of close scrutiny form the west.

Malawi is on the receiving end of an Avalanche of oil dollars in the economy's various sectors. This was signed by Malawi's second powerful minister of Finance Goodal Gondwe. Please find below the whole article as published in the nation news paper. Zimbabwe stands to benefit as well.

Qatar firm to pour oil dollars into Malawi
by Taonga Sabola, 09 May 2006 - 02:55:47
The Malawi Government last week signed a multi-million dollar deal with the Venessia Group, a Qatari company based in Doha, which will see the company investing in critical areas of development in exchange to exporting petroleum products into the country.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in Doha by Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and the Chairman of Venessia Petroleum Sheik Abdulaziz Bin Mohid Bin Jobar Al-Than.
Gondwe was accompanied by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Henry Chimunthu Banda and Irrigation and Water Development Minister Sidik Mia.
The Qatari investments in Malawi will be co-ordinated by Shaka Investment Limited, a local company which is the group’s representative here, according to a press release.
The deal will see the Qatar firm constructing, among other things, a National Strategic Fuel Reserve facility in the country.
Malawi has so far been running without a strategic fuel reserve and can only hold fuel that lasts 15 days, raising fears that it may see most of its activities grounded in an event that there is no fuel supply for a month.
The new fuel reserve to be constructed is believed to have the capacity to keep the nation in action for at least three months.
Shaka Investment Limited Director Dan Kamwaza said on Monday that Shiek Abdualaziz Al-Than will be visiting Malawi in the next two to three weeks to kick-start the implementation of the projects in line with the priority list discussed prior to the signing of the MOU.
He said through directly injecting petroleum products into the country, Malawi stands to register a significant cut in its oil bill as the firm will provide the commodity at reduced prices.
“The people will be coming to conduct a feasibility study on the project. These people are in a hurry to develop the country but everything will depend on the government,” said Kamwaza.
Apart from the fuel reserves, the Qatari company also intends to construct three five star hotels in the country which will give a boost to the local tourism industry.
“They are also interested in the development of Chileka and Kamuzu International Airport, improving the relationship between Air Malawi and the Qatar Airline. They also have shown some willingness in the Shire-Zambezi Waterway.
“The exact cost of the developments is not known but is a very huge sum of money but after the feasibility study everything will be made public,” said Kamwaza.
Malawi is one of the first two countries with Zimbabwe to benefit from the Qatari group’s investment drive which will spread to other countries in Africa later.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Indian Economic growth attracts Malawi's Diplomatic presence

As the indian economy is growing. Malawi is tryin its best not to lose out. My word of caution would be that take it easy. We have a big Indian trading community in our Country and what we need is a careful study before we waste our taxes on a big economy who wont give a foot that we are consuming their products and hosting their brethren. The article below appeared in a Malawi online daily paper the Nation. www.nationmalawi.com
I hope we aint going the because Microsoft et al are investing we seek different things and our priorities.

Malawi eyes India’s growing economy
by Tadala Makata-Kakwesa , 10 May 2006 - 05:20:35
Foreign Affairs Minister Davis Katsonga has said Malawi wants to take advantage of India’s fast growing economy by establishing a permanent diplomatic representation in that country.
Katsonga said government has decided to have a permanent office in India after noting that there is a lot of potential that Malawi can take advantage of.
Currently, Malawi relies on its Ambassador to Tanzania as a representative in the Indian sub-continent.
“Malawi has a lot to learn from India in terms of agriculture, irrigation and manufacturing of machinery for irrigation and rural development.
“Imagine, a company as big as Microsoft has invested US$500 million in India. A lot of international organisations have invested in India because of its political stability and economic performance and the expansion of its middle class,” said Katsonga.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira welcomed the government’s move to open an embassy in India saying India is beneficial to Malawi because of its well-developed small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Kaferapanjira, however, said Malawi’s benefit from India whose economy is growing at a rate of 10 to 12 percent every year, will depend on how it picks the opportunity.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Comrade Mugabe in Malawi a reflection

Well the man usually refered to as uncle Bob, a victim of neo-colonialism et al as his supporters put it. I remmember his visits when i was a young boy standing by the roadside to see him and the late President Dr H.K Banda and waving clapping u name it. That was then it never raised a whisker.

This time around after his land reform programme coupled with sanctions from the West and many indicators show that Zimbabwe is going through serious hardships.

He has been crowned an AFRICAN HERO by President Bingu Wa Mutharika ( Malawi), I dont dispute that he liberated Zim pips and alot of Malawians are employed that side. This coupled with the fact that our 1st Lady is a Zim Lady. I hope you see what am driving at this might not be objective at all. I am really proud of the liberation struggle, but am a true believer that emotional acts are not the wayforward. In Malawi he has been immortalised by having a road named after him.

My reflection is that as much as we are African's our country has to refrain from joining the Zim-Brit issue in its conduct with the Comrade we might get really screwed dont forget we measure our performance according to how much the Minister of Finance begs or receives in aid.

I for one will never blame the colonisers because we have only ourselves to blame PERIOD. I think in the next 10 yrs or so we will be busy blaming the Chinese when we are actually selling our rights to people who havent even mastered the technology of mining which kills themselves like flies what do you expect if its Africans dying

Thats my take

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Listening to a programme on Pensions arround the world especially on Kenya, I reflected on the concerns and issues raised.
1. Un-employmnet
2. The money earned is usually enough for expenses or guarantee you a loan from friends.


1. The pay you get after saving for so long is totally valueless
2. Pvt sector vs Public sector its a known fact that the govt cant compete.

After all of the above is said, I feel this makes the African market the most lucrative in the sense that Financial Institutions can come up with packages which allow the informal sector or the formal sector employee to be able to invest and be assured of a good return at the end of a productive life.

The challenges are well documented HIV/AIDS and various other challenges but for sure the opportunities are available.