Government has signed a $700,000 (about K560 million) loan grant with the Opec Fund and Bank of Badea for a feasibility study of Mzuzu Airport.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Sosten Gwengwe signed the grant on behalf of the Malawi government in Lilongwe on Thursday.
He said government is committed to the project, which he said will open the country to tourist destinations in the Northern Region.
He added that the facility will also ease travel to the Northern Region which currently takes an average of five hours by road.
“Mzuzu Airport is important for the region but also very important for the country as it will facilitate a quicker gateway to tourism facilities in the Northern Region.
“With the old airport not being in a usable state due to its poor location within the city, traveling to the north by road is inconvenient by road,” Gwengwe said.
He said the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) requires an alternative in case there is need for emergency landing and diversions.
Managing Director for Opec Fund Alkhalifa Salem said they are upbeat on financing the technical and economic feasibility study of the Mzuzu Airport which he said after completion will enhance flow of air traffic to Malawi – apart from face-lifting the city.
“It is important to have a modern airport, they will finish that study as soon as possible so that we can start discussing with the government possibility of funding the actual project,” Salem said.
During the event a $15 million (about K12 billion) loan facility for the Dowa Town Water Supply was also signed. The project will be implemented by Central Region Water Board.
Minister of Water and Sanitation Abida Mia said the project stands to respond to the growing demand for clean and potable water and sanitation infrastructure resulting from rapid urbanization.