A Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between government and African Parks to run Majete Game Reserve in Chikwawa district continues to yield fruits as the business is making US$400,000 (K240 million) per year.
The year 2003 marked the turning point when Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) awarded a Johannesburg-based non-profit making organisation, African Parks, the management mandate for Majete.
The agreement marked the first privatisation of a wildlife area in Malawi.
African Parks Country Director, Patricio Ndadzela, said the game reserve is now an epicentre for social economic development.
Ndadzela said before African Parks partnered Government of Malawi in 2003, there was no tangible form of tourism revenue the game reserve was offering to the country.
“Over the course of 11 years, Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi has been restocked with more than 2,500 animals including the Big Five: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. Antelope species have also been reintroduced as well as hippo, hyena, zebra and warthog
“Today, Majete conserves protects an estimated 5,000 animals and is widely regarded as the country’s premier wildlife sanctuary. The restoration of the reserve has also included the erection of a perimetre fence, the construction of roads, waterholes, scout camps, tourism and hospitality offerings and a complete overhaul of law enforcement and scientific monitoring functions.
“At the same time, employment opportunities have been created for local communities in park operations, in tourism and through the establishment of community enterprise initiatives. Social infrastructure development has included the building of educational and medical facilities, and most recently a malaria research and prevention centre,” said Ndadzela.
He said the public–private partnership (PPP) is the only hope for Malawi’s wildlife areas and Majete is a perfect example.
He said African Parks is happy with the Malawi Government’s decision in trying to make parks socially and economically relevant. The conservation organisation is following the model of Majete where communities around are involved in the running of the reserve.
He said; “We are proud to work with the Malawi Government to manage parks more effectively, and we are proud of the success stories we are bringing in. Government is very grateful for African Parks for coming to Malawi.
African Parks is a non-profit making organisation that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks and protected areas in partnership with the locals.
African Parks currently manages 10 parks in seven countries that include the Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, DRC, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia – with a combined area of six million hectares.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues