The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) says it is high time Malawian started looking beyond the borders for investment and job opportunities as one way of attaining sustainable economic development for the country.
Presenting a paper on “Opportunities for Transforming Malawi’s Economic Fortunes” at a day-long workshop for business journalists in Blantyre over the weekend, ICAM chief executive officer, Evelyn Mwapasa, said Malawi needs to expand its horizon for wealth creation.
“Malawi needs to start taking advantage of regional integration by exploring economic opportunities beyond our borders. If we can’t export to other countries, let’s go there to open businesses and even get jobs,” said Mwapasa.
“Malawi has a very small market which may limit one’s growth economically but regional markets present a much larger market for both investment and jobs,” she said.
She gave an example of Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri who, she said, has demonstrated to Malawians opportunities presented by expansions outside the country.
“Bushiri could probably not have grown his ministry and business that big had he limited himself to Malawi,” said Mwapasa.
She said even developed countries like Germany have policies that encourage migration as a means of economic growth and that many African countries such as Ghana earn a lot of foreign exchange through huge amounts of remittances from its citizens working and doing businesses outside the country.
Mwapasa also said another area Malawi can look at is the education sector which can be explored to attract large numbers of foreign students to come and study in Malawi.
“We will not be re-inventing the wheel because before 1994, Malawi was renowned for its quality education and used to attract international students to study at Kamuzu Academy, Malawi College of Accountancy and the College of Medicine,” said Mwapasa.
“We can review what went wrong and correct the problems so that we can improve and expand our educational facilities to start attracting international students once more,” she said.
“Right now, many wealthy Malawians are sending their children to study in high schools and colleges in Namibia and South Africa because of the quality educational facilities and environments those countries offer. We can do the same here,” said Mwapasa
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