Agriculture, including crop alternatives to tobacco, and financial services will benefit from £2 million of investment.
£1 million of Scottish Government funding to help Malawian businesses over the next three years, to be match funded by private investors. This marks an important shift from reliance on aid to increasing investment. A priority will be companies replacing tobacco with other less harmful crops, drawing on experience from Scotland’s world-renowned finance management sector. Each will be expected to have a social impact by creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods as well as a financial return.
Speaking at the Malawi Investment Forum, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for International Development said:
“This funding marks a new chapter in the Scotland-Malawi relationship and is an opportunity to show how responsible investment can make a fair profit, create jobs, grow the economy and reduce aid dependence. Historically, trade and investment has been the central component in Scotland’s relationship with Malawi and as it moves from aid to trade, this £2 million Investment Fund will help develop existing businesses and make a social impact.
“Today, I met with some potential investees with a wealth of talent around the table. I am confident this will encourage other investors that Malawi is a good place to do business.”
Group CEO & Partner from JB Equity Limited, Bor Boer added:
“We see huge potential in Malawi’s agricultural sector and warmly welcome this initiative. In the longer term it will be investment in sound businesses in Malawi which delivers the economic growth that will release people from poverty. We are excited by the formation of the African Lakes Company, as are our clients in Malawi, and we look forward to working closely with them and making this project a success.”
Managing Director, African Lakes Company Limited, Robert S. Anderson said:
“The African Lakes Company Ltd was established in Glasgow in 1878 to develop trade as an effective way of displacing slavery in Malawi. More than a century on, we have revived that mission, aiming to prove that with responsible investment we can help Malawi reduce its dependence on aid, support existing business growth and create sustainable livelihoods.
“Engaging Scotland’s world-class financial sector with Malawian businesses and asset managers brings the prospect of transformative change. We want investors to bring their skills and expertise to the table. This is not a pitch for donations; it is an invitation to invest.”
The SNP Government has also provided a further £100,000 to help Community Energy Malawi (CEM) in partnership with Strathclyde University, to continue its support for 43 SNP Government funded community energy installations in 12 districts across Malawi. This will enable on-going training for these communities in the operation and maintenance of the systems to improve their sustainability.
Kenneth Gibson, a member of the Cross-Party Group in Malawi added:
"This funding for CEM will allow them to continue their work of supporting community-level energy access. We know this can transform some of the poorest areas by ensuring equipped hospitals, functioning schools and thriving communities. It will help children to study in the evenings, ensuring the safe delivery of babies at night and providing a source of energy for communities to earn an income. CEM’s focus on sustainability is much needed in Malawi and their work will have a wide and positive impact across the country’s renewable energy sector.”