Peter Mutharika declares 18 March Malawi Day


President Peter Mutharika has outlined eight directives and requests aimed at supporting investments in Malawi and instilling national confidence so that local goods and services are prioritised over foreign ones.

Among them, he declared March 18 Malawi Day when Malawians shall wear, eat and use Malawian products.

While challenging local investors and others investing in the country to improve the quality of their products, Mutharika observed that Malawians have crushed their own self-esteem and broken national pride in the process.


In his speech when he opened the Buy Malawi Strategy in Lilongwe on Friday, Mutharika said now is the time for the country to resurrect the spirit of its national pride, dignity and self-esteem so as to stimulate local production.

He said the implementation of the strategy must begin now and went ahead to outline the eight points to guide the process which include the requirement for civil and public servants to be wearing clothes produced in Malawi on Fridays.

“I declare that 18th March each year will be a Malawi Day. On this day, Malawians shall wear, eat and use Malawian products. During this day, Malawians shall celebrate our uniqueness and send a message to the whole world that we are Malawi.


“The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development will prioritise allocation of land to enterprises and investors that intend to manufacture goods and provide services on our land,” said Mutharika.

He has also directed that all public procuring entities will buy at least 30 percent of their goods and services from Malawi-based enterprises, adding that those that cannot manage because of the nature of their business should give plausible reasons and seek a waiver from the Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).

Mutharika has also requested all hospitality facilities to set aside at least one day in a week to serve Malawian dishes apart from requesting all Malawians to first prioritise local tourism facilities.

“I [also] request commercial banks to put much emphasis on lending money to enterprises that produce goods and services locally rather than only emphasising enterprises that import finished products,” said Mutharika.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Mia Seppo – whose institution assisted with the development of the strategy and its launch – said the Buy Malawi Strategy has the potential of turning around Malawi’s economy.

She further urged close partnership between the private and public sectors for the strategy to bear significant fruits.

Minister of Industry and Trade Joseph Mwanamveka said there are a number of implementation mechanisms that will ensure the intended purpose of the strategy is achieved.

He further called on all Malawians to embrace the strategy by, among others, prioritising local products so that the ‘careless’ spending of forex through exports of products that are available in Malawi.

In an interview with Malawi News, President of the Indigenous Businesspersons Association of Malawi (Ibam) Mike Mlombwa said the strategy has come at the right time but cautioned against laxity when it comes to implementation.

“We always talk about many policies, many strategies but not much is done. I can see that the President is very serious on this strategy. In other countries, all these things are happening and it does not make sense for us to only expect foreigners to sell us everything,” said Mlombwa.

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