President Peter Mutharika on Friday appointed a 17-member grouping to oversee the Buy Malawi Strategy unveiled in March 2016.
The committee is headed by Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) President, Karl Chokhotho, with Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) president, Mike Mlombwa, as vice chairperson.
Other members of the grouping are Chief Secretary to Government, Secretary to Treasury, Secretary for Health, Director of Public procurement, Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development, Secretary for Civic Education, Culture and Community Development and Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
Also in the committee is Secretary for Labour, Youth Sports and Manpower Development, Secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Secretary for Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare, Malawi Investment Trade Centre Chief Executive Officer, Malawi Bureau of Standards Director General, Malawi Council for the Handicapped Chief Executive Officer and Chartered Institute of Marketers Malawi Executive Officer.
In a statement signed by Chief Secretary to Government, Llyod Muhara, Capital Hill says the committee shall spearhead implementation of the strategy and report to the State President on the progress.
The main purpose of the Buy Malawi Strategy is to encourage consumption of locally produced goods and services through deliberate interventions that substantially enhance competitiveness of local firms through stimulation of Malawian companies and the citizenry to embrace locally produced goods and services.
Chokhotho could not be reached for comment yesterday. But Mlombwa, who is the groupings vice chairperson, hailed the creation of such an entity in the promotion of local products.
“I would like to thank the President for trusting us with such a huge responsibility of ensuring that Malawians begin to consume locally produced items.
“Now with a committee in place, the task of spearheading the campaign will be easy,” said Mlombwa.
But analysts have questioned why it has taken Mutharika over 10 months to appoint a committee after launching the strategy.
The committee comes at a time when Malawians continue to consume imported commodities at the expense of locally produced ones.
“The Buy Malawi Strategy is a good initiative but why take 10 months to appoint a committee to drive it?” Queried one Blantyre-based analyst.