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Development bank awaits partners

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The Malawi government says it is still in the process of seeking strategic partners for the establishment of the much talked about development bank.

Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Nations Msowoya, said in an interview yesterday that the government has not shelved plans to establish the bank.

He was responding to a question on why the 2015/16 financial budget does not have any allocation for the development bank as it has been the case in the previous financial years.

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Msowoya said negotiations between the government and prospective partners on the development bank project are still going on.

“The government is still talking to various banks both local and international to interest them for partnership in this venture,” said Msowoya.

“But these are discussions involving financial transactions which tend to progress rather slowly,” said Msowoya.

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The bank was supposed to roll out in 2010 but the process has dragged on and it is now close to 6 years since the initial planned date of its establishment.

Last year, Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, said the development bank would not be exclusively owned by the government as some significant shareholding will have to be taken by partners in the private sector.

“It is going to be a bank with a lot of private sector involvement. That is why we can’t do it quickly,” said Gondwe.

The development bank, according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi, requires an initial capital of US$25 million but can commence operations with resources of about US$6.8 million.

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