The Nankumba Peninsula tourism project planned for Mangochi is set to change the face of Malawi’s tourism.
It is expected that the sector will be easy to market through available infrastructure contained in the project that will be able to attract more tourists into the country.
On Friday evening Afrixembank delegation had an audience with President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika at the Kamuzu Palace to discuss progress made on the project.
Nankumba Peninsula is one of the $1.4 billion projects which is being financed by the African Import-Export Bank (Afrixembank).
In July last year the Afrixembank President, Prof Benedict Okey Oramah visited Malawi where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the supported projects was signed when he met President Mutharika.
He also met business persons with bankable projects.
Oramah, who came with a developer for the tourism project expressed satisfaction at the pace of implementation of what was agreed on, six months ago. About $800 million has already been disbursed so far.
“We have got the infrastructure project, the travel facilities approved and funds are being mobilised for the work to start.
“We have identified a leading world class developer for the Nankumba Peninsula Project to develop it in a real world class project that will change the face of Malawi tourism,” he said.
The developer has developed world class tourism facilities in many countries in the world such as Egypt, in Europe and in the Middle East.
Oramah was optimistic of the possibility of developing a masterplan and cordial working relationship with government to make sure that the vision is realised.
Orascom Development Chairman, Samih Sawiris, who is the developer for the Nankumba Peninsula Project, said he had already been to the site and the picture of the ground is quite unique.
He observed that tourism is dependent not only on airports but planes flying in and the availability of hotels.
“Malawi will be very easy to market once we put the infrastructure which is the airport and the hotel. It is a full masterplan,” said Sawiris.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Salim Bagus described the bringing in of the developer as a positive step for the project.
He said the development of the masterplan will marks the start of the work on the project site.
“After the masterplan, we will roll out the project. Afrixem has already provided funds to prepare that land. Everything is ready on the ground we are just waiting for the masterplan,” said Bagus.
Afrixem funded projects include the Mangochi International Airport, a holiday resort at Cape Maclear, a logistics park in Mangochi which forms part of the Nankumba Pensinsula Project, industrial parks in Blantyre and Lilongwe and a dry port in Liwonde as well as other financial support for the private sector through the Export Development Fund (EDF).
According to a concept note prepared by EDF, the project is expected to change the country’s development architecture.
Once completed, the Nankumba Peninsula which will create 40,000 jobs, will be a hub of tourism in Southern Africa.