As we reported yesterday, Malawi’s president Joyce Banda along with Malawian Members of Parliament and senior government officials are in the United Kingdom. Today Banda addressed the Scottish Parliament to mark the bicentenary of the birth of David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary who worked in Malawi. She is the fifth head of state to address the Scottish Parliament.
In the speech (watch a recording of the speech online), Banda focusses on her personal and the country’s journey since she took over presidency from the late president Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012. Built on her “three pillars” of “unity, equity and development”, she highlights the Economic Recovery Plan that the government is implementing to turn the economy around. She emphasised the attention the government is paying to improving the business environment, stating that she wishes to move Malawi into the top 100 countries in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” assessment of countries’ business regulations. Malawi currently stands at 157 out of 185 economies, which is lower than the 2012 ranking of 151.
Banda encouraged investors as she explained Malawi has opportunities in agriculture, energy, mining, and tourism. She noted that Malawians are hard working and honest and that investment is secure and protected in the country. It may be interesting to compare Banda’s comments with KPMG’s Invest Africa‘s television coverage of the opportunities and challenges of Malawi as a business and investment destination.
In the words of Banda,
Malawi is open for business and people of Scotland are invited to join us on this journey to prosperity.