Months after President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera initiated the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) as a platform through which government projects and programmes are systematically expedited, 50 private sector companies and organizations have been roped in to attend the newly-launched private sector labs.
The President officially launched the week-long PDU Private Sector Labs in Lilongwe on Friday at an event patronized by business captains, government officials and the donor community among others.
In his remarks, the President challenged both the private sector and government officials attending the labs to critically diagnose what is wrong with Malawi’s development trajectory.
“I am launching these Private Sector Labs to bring leaders of Government and captains of industry together to answer one question: what must we change in order to make Malawi a place where businesses and investments that desire to produce valuable things find it easy to expand, export, and employ?” he queried.
The President highlighted what he believes are the key characteristics of a thriving private sector that can ably lift Malawi out of poverty.
“I am talking about building a private sector that is capable of sustaining and spreading economic gains by fostering increased savings and capital formation, technology transfer, and better products and services for consumers. I am talking about building a private sector that is capable of mobilising and attracting both domestic and external investments. I am talking about building a private sector that is capable of creating employment and growing incomes for citizens.”
He singled out key environmental factors that are critical in courting the private sector to collaborate with government in developing the country. These include transport, energy, and digital infrastructure, as well as a culture of high standards of service, predictable and friendly tax regimes, land management reform, efficient export procedures, and access to business financing.
The labs are being facilitated by International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector investment arm of the World Bank.