Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I think this is another must-share article with esteemed blog readers:
Article source: The Peninsula (Qatari English daily)
Date: 22nd January, 2008
A Qatari firm will be building a fuel storage facility and setting up pipelines in the landlocked African nation of Malawi, which borders Mozambique, [Tanzania] and Zambia.
To cement the deal with Venessia Petroleum, three ministers from the African country are here to chalk out the details of the project which is valued at $140m to $150m and will take 36 months to complete, according to S Gauhar Ali Zaidi, the company's general manager.
The ministers, who arrived yesterday, are Mohammed Sidik Mia, Minister of Irrigation and Water Development; H F Chimuntha Banda, Minister of Energy and Mines and Goodall E Gondwe, Minister of Finance.
Banda told The Peninsula: "Our major oil supplier is BP South Africa, which gets most of their stock from the Middle East. Our requirements are one to two million litres of petrol per day."
According to Gondwe, the fuel storage facility, which will have a 90-day stockpiling capacity, may also be opened up to neighbouring countries. Speaking on the country's economy, he said: "Tobacco is our major export as also tea, sugar and coffee. In no time at all, we will be exporting uranium."
Malawi's GDP stood at slightly above $8bn in 2006. The country has a per capita income of $230, a figure which, Gondwe said, is slowly rising. "Our GDP is growing at the rate of around 7.5 percent a year," he said.
The country is hoping to build up its tourism sector with the prospect of a five-star hotel being set up in the capital, Lilongwe. Gondwe said his country hopes to extend flights to Qatar by the national carrier, Air Malawi. "Our airline flies to Dubai and we hope that we can carry the flight onward to Doha," he said.
Speaking on the HIV/AIDS problem that plagues African countries, Gondwe said: "We are the only country where the ratio of people affected has decreased. A lot is being done in terms of awareness and teaching people how to behave," he said.