The African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) Chief Executive officer Dr. Felix Lombe has urged government to critically scrutinize potential investors in the country before making any commitment for the country to fully benefit from the several investments foreign individuals or companies are making in the country. Lombe made the appeal at Bingu International Conference Center (BICC) in Lilongwe during the official launch of 6 corporate citizenship manuals AICC developed.
Speaking during his brief presentation on the publications, Lombe noted that, despite several investments Malawi has witnessed over the years, the country is yet to benefit from such investments as evidenced by poor returns the country continue to get from big investments made by foreign companies or individuals. Lombe further argued on the need to have permanent and responsible investors, who will have the social impact of their business at heart as opposed to tourist investors who do not care about the social impacts of their businesses.
“As a country, there is a need to be cautious of individuals or companies making any type of investments in this country. As much as we need more investors in country, we need to settle for investors that care about the social impacts of their business as well as businesses that add value to the development of the country as opposed to tourist investors that are only concerned about their profits than the development of this country” said Lombe.
Lombe further added that as one way of ensuring private sector involvement in development activities there is need to intensify public private partnerships. He argued that sustainable development in the country can only occur when the public sector start to directly involve the private sector in implementation of social interventions programmes.
“As AICC, our firm argument is that Africa will continue to face challenges in development, if strides to promote private and public sector partnership are not intensified. This is to say apart from engaging government in socio-economic interventions, there is a need for NGO’s or Civil Society organization to also start engaging the private sector for sustainable development. This will ensure that all players in various sectors are playing their part in development as a result this will highly accelerate deve l o p m e n t in this country” L o m b e articulated.
The guest of honor during the event, Dr Joseph Mkandawire, Finance and administration Director in the Ministry of Industry, trade and tourism, concurred with Lombe’s sentiments saying Government has also been in the fore front promoting corporate citizenship phenomenon among Malawians as it is key to the development of this country. Mkandawire further narrated that over the years government has been intensifying its efforts to promote public private partnerships as witnessed by the continuous engagement of the private sectors in its development strategies as they are also key players in various sectors.
“The public sector cannot be vibrant on its own, this is why government continue to intensify its relations with the private sectors by among many aspects ensuring that there is a conducive environment for their operations. It is the hope of government that the private sector will also continue to support government in implementations of its programmes for the common benefit of all players’ said Mkandawire.