Individual investments, savings crucial for national development —expert


A South African financial expert has encouraged Malawians to embrace a saving and investing culture, saying such a culture contributes a lot to national development.

John Manyike, Old Mutual Group Head of Financial Education, was speaking in Blantyre on Wednesday, 31st May, 2023 during the company’s public lecture which was held under the theme; ‘Improving My Financial Game’.

Manyike who said the public lecture was to educate people about better ways of improving one’s financial status, underscored the importance of individual savings and investments to the national development.

The financial education guru said countries with a higher savings ratio are in better position for successful developmental activities hence young people in the country should start thinking broadly about that.

“Every country needs a savings pool. Why is a savings pool important, especially for an African country. A savings pool made up of savings from different investors, provides government with access to a pool of funds that can be invested towards infrastructure development.

“We know we struggle with high unemployment, inequality and poverty, so, captivating a culture of saving really helps the economy,” explained Manyike.

He then encouraged other financial service providers in the country to promote financial education, so that more Malawians can start appreciating the value of financial products and financial services so that they can start investing and saving.

Manyike while stipulating that the state has a role to play by creating a conducive environment for people to invest and save, said individual actions help to respond to the challenges that one faces on a daily basis.

On individual actions, the Old Mutual Group Head of Financial Education implored Malawians to as well find alternative sources of income and not relying on their main employment.

He said having multiple sources of income helps one to be more financially stable and stop blaming an employer for offering poor salaries.

“So if you look at the economies around the world, you will find that there is an emerging trend of workers starting to find alternative streams of income. We now have what we call the gig economy which talks to the future worker.

“What does a worker of the future look like? Is it someone who is saying I’m going to have more than one stream of income, I’m going to have a main job, but I will also look at other alternatives? I think we need to start encouraging young people to start thinking broadly,” he added.

Manyike further described Malawi’s unique natural resources as a great opportunity for the country to be involved in export activities which he said may help in creating more employment and also reduce poverty levels.

One of the participants Ashukile Mwakisulu who is a filmmaker, actor and vice president of Film Association of Malawi (FAMA), thanked Old Mutual for organizing a “productive” interface.

Mwakisulu said the lecture will help his association and of course him as an individual to make a sound decision on how to run the film industry as business and also start saving and investing.

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