By Rebecca Chimjeka:
Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) has called on President Peter Mutharika to walk the talk by putting in place measures that would promote local businesses.
Ibam President, Mike Mlombwa, was reacting to Mutharika’s State of The Nation Address presented in Parliament on Friday.
Mlombwa said despite efforts by authorities, most Malawians were only engaging in small-scale enterprises, which needed intense support through systematic policies.
He urged the government to consider making it mandatory that foreign investors partner locals in all sectors.
Mlombwa said this was only way to encourage the local citizenry’s participation in mainstream economic activities.
“Several economic empowerment measures have been put in place to address concerns of marginalised Malawians but they are not working” Mlombwa said.
Mlombwa said the government should start using measures formulated and developed to empower local masses.
He said if the government did not prioritises local small scale business operators, disparities between the poor and the rich would continue widening.
In his address, Mutharika said the government had formulated legal and policy frameworks aimed at further developing local industry in the next five years
Mutharika also outlined plans to intensify rural industrialisation drive.
“To promote consumption of domestic goods and services, we have been implementing the Buy Malawian Strategy, we need to empower local producers and we need to keep our money within the country by buying locally produced commodities” Mutharika said.
Mutharika, however, appealed to Malawians to support local industries in order to expand their business.