Thursday, May 11, 2006

ARAB INVESTMENT IN AFRICA REACHES MALAWI

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.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ordinary Citizen said...

Interesting article on the management of the environment in Malawi:

http://about.wri.org/wridigest_print.cfm?cid=4017

11:23 PM  

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