Malawi hope­ful on NDB

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - WORLD - SHAN­NON EBRAHIM

THE Pres­i­dent of Malawi Peter Muthrika was un­equiv­o­cal in his sup­port for BRICS at the Sum­mit’s Out­reach with African lead­ers on Fri­day.

“Malawi has a 22-year in­fra­struc­ture master plan – we need roads, rail­ways and air­ports, and the cre­ation of the New De­vel­op­ment Bank (NDB) will make it eas­ier for us to ac­cess funds in the fu­ture for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment,” Muthrika told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia.

“South Africa has done well to bring African coun­tries on board with re­gards to BRICS, Africa has a voice and South Africa must speak for us,” Muthrika said.

“If Malawi can lever­age fi­nanc­ing from the NDB to process our own to­bacco, we could set higher prices and ex­port a value added prod­uct within three to five years,” Muthrika in­sists.

“Our big­gest chal­lenge is to turn our coun­try around from be­ing a con­sum­ing to a pro­duc­ing econ­omy, so that we have value-added prod­ucts to ex­port.”

A sim­i­lar re­frain could be heard from many of the African lead­ers who at­tended the BRICS Plus Out­reach with African lead­ers on Fri­day.

For them the NDB presents an op­por­tu­nity in the fu­ture to lever­age loans from an in­sti­tu­tion that stands as an al­ter­na­tive to the Western dom­i­nated in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

With CNN declar­ing Malawi as one of the top 15 tourist des­ti­na­tions in the world, Malawi desperately needs de­vel­op­ment fi­nanc­ing to im­prove its in­fra­struc­ture for tourism pur­poses.

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