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Development, agriculture banks merged

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By Taonga Sabola:

The government has combined the much awaited development bank and proposed agriculture bank to form the Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (Maiic) Plc, expected to be launched in Lilongwe next week.

Maiic Steering Committee Head, who is also CDH Investment Bank (CDHIB) Managing Director Misheck Esau, told reporters that the institution would be a vehicle for spearheading private sector development in Malawi.

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He said the institution, which is not a bank, would have a seed capital of $25 million.

Esau said the formation of Maiic follows two feasibility studies done by consultants in 2013 and 2018. They revealed that previous government-led development finance institutions had been beset by governance problems.

The studies also revealed that the existing market financing gap hovers above K2.8 trillion in various sectors.

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“Maiic will work in collaboration with existing banks and financial institutions and will be a source of capital for the underserved sectors of the economy, thereby accelerating the country’s economic growth and development.

“Maiic will play a leading role in partnership with the government, the private sector and international investors as a catalyst for socio-economic development, job creation and wealth creation in Malawi,” Esau said.

He said Maiic would not compete with existing financial institutions, adding that it would collaborate with them to fill market gaps.

The institution has eight strategic themes which include mobilising financial and other resources for investment in commercially viable projects, businesses, agriculture and industries (existing and new) aligned with national development priorities.

The firm also seeks to be a catalyst for the creation and development of competitive, commercially sustainable industries to make Malawi a more production and export oriented economy.

CDHIB Director, Naomi Ngwira, ruled out political interference in Maicc, saying the institution has a strong corporate governance framework.

Ngwira said Maicc will operate as a sustainable and commercially driven entity with a board of directors independent from the government or any government agencies.

Malawi Investment and Trade Centre Chief Executive Officer, Clement Kumbemba, said the creation of Maicc would fast-track implementation of various bankable projects requiring long term financing.

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