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Government tipped on project financing

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Patrick Achitabwino

The government has been urged to evaluate and clearly set project-designs that would spearhead project financing in major sectors of the economy.

This came out during an online project finance training organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) and a training and consultancy firm, Sycamore Consult Limited.

Mining and oil exploration were earmarked among key areas to focus on in project financing.

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In an interview after the training, Icam Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Patrick Achitabwino, said Malawi has over the years failed to market bankable projects and woo significant investment to transform the economy.

He said currently, Malawi’s record project finance stands at $1.129 million (about K828 billion).

“If you look at project financing, it is going to be a big deal in oil and gas. When you look at Malawi, mostly, we concentrate on agriculture so the financial base required may not be as significant as in mining and oil and gas exploration.

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“There is need to carry out a proper feasibility study on the market value of our mineral resources because we have the resources but will they stand to realise the investment made,” Achitabwino said.

He added that the country should also focus on value addition in minerals if the country is to be competitive.

Sycamore Consult Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mwai Makwakwa, said the first step to unlocking significant project financing in Malawi is to have well-informed managers, hence the training.

“We are discussing project preparations in terms of finance, the processes involved and also management of project finance which are some of the critical areas that financiers want to be assured that managers are conversant with,” Makwakwa said.

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