"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Marketing in Focus- Column - Shire-Zambezi waterway, a dream worth sharing
BY Andrew Kaponya
08:56:27 - 03 May 2007

At first when I heard President Bingu wa Mutharika pronouncing his dream about the Shire-Zambezi waterway, I thought it was one of the jokes presidents make when addressing mass rallies. When I heard it for the second time, I really believed the power of dreaming in colour.

It was last week when I saw this dream slowly coming to light with the signing in ceremony of the memorandum of association for the implementation of the project. No wonder, the President's dream is really in colour. Thumbs up not only to the President but also to the people of Malawi. Congratulations to Malawi's development.

I am deliberately congratulating all Malawians realising that this dream is not the president's, this dream is for all us who like development and all those who like good things. Shire Zambezi waterway project is indeed good for future marketing.

Malawians look, and indeed look with a positive eye and mind, here is a development that will not only benefit the people of Nsanje or Chikwawa, but all of us whether we are in Chitipa or which ever part of the country. A development in Nsanje is development in Malawi. This is a positive thinking that we all need to have if this dream is indeed going to be a reality.

I want to express here that I cannot wait to see this dream becoming a reality. I also have started to see a big city in Nsanje with tall buildings. Few kilometers away from the town I am able to see Nsanje airport, Hotels, restaurants, shops, banks, nice roads.

More importantly, all marketers and I of course cannot wait to see this city becoming a reality because it will provide a new market for our goods and services.

I can see a market for our clothes, foodstuffs, electrical appliances, cars and many other products. All this is coming because this city will create employment to more people, which will eventually boost the economic purchasing power of people in that part of the country and of course to other parts.

The Shire- Zambezi waterway will not only create market for our goods but also that there will be a cut in transportation costs for imported goods. Customers will benefit from the cheap goods, which will be entering this country through that port. I cannot count the business opportunities that will be created from this project. There are just huge to be counted.

Anyway, it's just a dream, but it is the wish of the dreamer that this should be real, and therefore, for this to be real, we don't just need the memorandum of association. All this dream need at this point in time is the cooperation of different stakeholders from both the public and private sector.

The signing of the memorandum will mean nothing if we spend much of our time pulling each other downwards or if we just turn it into a political talk to win future votes. Malawians, let you know that the success of this project is not the President's, but the success of all Malawians. We really don't need someone to come all the way from Britain to tell us how much we can benefit from this project.

To the business sector, time has come to put our political affiliations and hate aside and concentrate on visualizing on the possible business opportunities that we are going to tap from the project.

To the opposition, the project is for you and your children, it is for our businesses. Let us all wish the president the best and let us for the first time in so many years come together and bang heads on how best this can be done. I know for sure that marketers can't wait long to open up new markets in the city of Nsanje. This is indeed a dream in colour worth sharing.

Feedback: kaponya@mail.com/ 08 649 887


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