Minister of Information in the President Peter Mutharika’s led Government , Mark Botomani says telecommunications sector contributes to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Botomani made the remarks on Monday during Airtel Malawi Pre-listing Stakeholders Cocktail at BICC in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
Botomani said telecommunications companies including Airtel Malawi are contributing 4 percent to Malawi’s total GDP ( GDP is an economic term meaning total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period)
“Malawi’s telecommunications sector contributes 4 percent to our national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with the bulk of this coming from the mobile sector. What this means is that Airtel is one of the key drivers of our economic growth and I believe, given the prospects of the industry, this will continue to grow,”
“If you were to consider that notwithstanding the significant investments that have been made in this sector, Malawi is a follower in terms of mobile penetration,” he said.
According to Botomani , Malawi’s subscriber base gives a mobile penetration rate of around 43 percent compared to the continental average of 86 percent .
“It is clear that there is room for growth and therefore more to be gained in this regard.
The performance of the sector also means that the telecommunications sector continues to be a leading contributor to the fiscus through tax revenues,”
“Additionally, as we face an unemployment rate of 13.3 percent it is pleasing to see the role that telecommunications plays in bridging this gap through its creation of jobs in excess of over 22,000 people,” Botomani said.
He further commended Airtel Malawi for helping government in health, education and sports sectors and responding to hunger in the country.
“You would also be aware of the role that these businesses play in ensuring that they support the Government’s priorities. For the part of Airtel, the business has taken an approach of long term partnerships. This is to ensure that real change is delivered within the communities that it operates in – that is over 85 percent of Malawi,”
“Whilst the business has sponsored various sporting fraternities and contributed in times of need, such as when our country was ravaged by floods, Airtel’s focus has been on the education and health sectors given their roles in poverty alleviation and driving social cohesion. You will be aware of some of the projects that this business contributes to,” he said.
Airtel Malawi will officially list on Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) on February 24, 2020. This is responding to Malawi’s communication laws that stipulates that 20 percent of shares of communication companies must be owned by Malawians.