Industrialisation has been neglected in Malawi since 1994 – Chakwera


President Lazarus Chakwera has faulted previous administrations for neglecting industrialisation in Malawi, saying many factories have been closed in the country since the dawn of multiparty democracy.

He made the remarks this afternoon when he opened the 5th SADC Industrialization Week and Exhibition under the theme “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the face of Covid-19 Pandemic for Inclusive Sustainable Economic and Industrial Transformation”. President of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi also attended the opening ceremony.

Chakwera said Governments in the SADC region have been implementing policies that hinder the transformation of the region’s economies from raw resource dependency to value adding production through technological research.

He then provided the example of industrialization in Malawi which he said has been neglected over the past 26 years. Chakwera noted that many factories have been closed in Malawi since the dawn of multiparty democracy. The Malawi leader mentioned Mulanje Canning Factory, Brown and Cleverton and British American Tobacco as some companies that have closed.

He added that the Malawi Development Corporation which was established to finance development was also dissolved.

“These were once leading our economy’s march towards value addition and production but overtime they took their operations elsewhere because we allowed ourselves to be governed by administrations without industrialisation agenda. Administrations which allowed such enablers of industrialisation as the transport system and power generation to get run down,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera said this resulted in the decline of the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP from 20 percent in 1995 to 12 percent in 2020.

Then president then stated that his administration has made industrialisation a key priority and it is also one of the main pillars in improving the economic status of the country.

He also expressed hope that Malawi will benefit greatly from the SADC Industrialization Week and Exhibition.

In his remarks, President of Mozambique, Felipe Jacinto Nyusi, said he has high expectations that the conference will come up with transforming, inclusive and sustainable development strategies that will enable SADC countries import and export goods across SADC regions without tariff barriers.