June 24, 2015 / 2:40 PM / in 5 years

Malawi aims for $16 bln in potential investment from summit

Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LILONGWE (Reuters) - Malawi’s first ever investment forum aims to generate about $16 billion in potential investments, a senior trade official said on Wednesday.

The southern African nation will host the two-day investment forum starting on 29 June as it seeks to find alternative means to fund growth in an economy crippled by a two-year budget aid freeze by Western donors.

“This forum is expected to generate prospective investments of up to $16 billion from more than 80 international investors that will attend among them Aliko Dangote, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and other major firms from USA, Europe, China and India,” said Cliff Chiunda, a senior official in the ministry of trade and industry.

Nigeria’s Dangote, the continent’s richest man, owns various businesses under the umbrella company of Dangote Group, among them, Dangote Cement , which said in May it was investing $5 billion to build cement plants on the African continent.

Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has previously told Reuters that reducing donor dependence and attracting direct investments was the preferred way of growing the economy and reducing poverty.

He also said the investment forum will showcase Malawi’s potential in energy, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.

Revelations of corruption in 2012 caused donors to withhold millions of dollars in budget support and demand that government investigate and prosecute those involved in stealing state funds. Over $20 million is believed to have been plundered.

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