You are on page 1of 3

STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF.

ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA,


PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI AT THE THE GRAND OPENING
CEREMONY OF THE UMODZI PARK COMPLEX AT UMODZI PARK,
LILONGWE ON FRIDAY, 1ST MAY, 2015.

Your Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, Madame Gertrude Mutharika;
The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Right Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima
and Mrs. Mary Chilima;
The Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Honourable Kondwani Nankhumwa
M.P.;
All Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here;
The Chairperson of Umodzi Holdings Limited, Mr. Francis Mbilizi and all the Board
Members;
The Chief Executive Officer of Peermont Global Proprietary Limited; Mr. Anthony
Puttergill and your Management Team;
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and all Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
The Chief Secretary to the Government, Mr. George Mkondiwa;
All Senior Government Officer Here present
The Mayor of the City of Lilongwe, Counsellor Willie Chapondera;
The Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City Center, Honourable David Bisnowaty,
M.P.;
The Chief Executive Officer for Lilongwe City;
The District Commissioner for Lilongwe;
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is with a deep sense of pride and joy that I am presiding over the official Grand Opening of
this magnificent Umodzi Park Complex this morning. It is a joyous moment, indeed, because
this is one of my Government's priority projects that was envisioned with the aim of propelling
the growth of tourism for economic development of the country.
As we are all aware, this function should have been held way back in 2012 after the DPP-led
Government had approved the engagement of Peermont Global Limited to manage the
facilities. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Complex could not be
opened. I appreciate the challenges that the Board of Umodzi Holdings Limited has gone
through to reach this far where we can all breathe a sigh of relief and experience the reality of a
dream come true.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Todays celebration is a true testimony of a visionary leader and statesman, the late President of
the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Professor Bingu wa Mutharika (May His Soul Rest in
Peace) who believed and encouraged us all to dream in colour and change our mindset for
Malawi to develop and prosper. In particular, he believed that Tourism has potential to
significantly contribute positively to the economy of this country. It is, therefore, befitting that
this Complex, whose grand opening we are witnessing today, is named after him as a reminder
to us all to always emulate his 'Dreaming in Colour' philosophy.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Government is committed to continue with the tourism agenda as one of the priority
sectors to spur economic growth. I am aware that the Ministry of Information Tourism and
Culture, working with stakeholders, has developed the soon-to-be-launched Malawi 2020
Tourism Development Plan which will provide the overarching framework for the development
of tourism in this country. I, therefore, wish to personally pledge my unwavering support in all
tourism initiatives that can quickly transform this country, and my willingness to endorse bold
measures and mobilize resources for the implementation of the Plan.
In this regard, I wish to urge all Government Ministries and the private sector to mainstream
tourism in all their policies and programmes as tourism thrives on other sectors such as the
transport and aviation sector; safety and security; land; Immigration; telecommunication;
energy; water and health, just to mention a few.
I further wish to encourage the private sector, such as, Banks, Insurance companies and other
Conglomerates like Press Corporation, to seriously consider investing in the tourism sector as
is done elsewhere in the region.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,


Allow me to highlight some of the significant steps that my Government is undertaking to grow
the tourism industry in this country. For instance, roads to various tourist attractions across
the country are being upgraded; the expansion and modernization of Kamuzu and Chileka
International Airports to improve access; the proposed designation of Likoma Airstrip as a
point of entry and exit; computerization of border posts; and reforms in Visa processes and the
Aviation sector, among others. These will greatly improve and facilitate the movement of
tourists in and around the country thereby enhancing visitor experience.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Umodzi Park Complex represents a symbol of excellence that was made possible through our
Cooperating Partner and Friend, the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, who
provided financing for the construction of the facility. This is a demonstration of confidence in
our national development effort. This gesture will undoubtedly encourage other potential
partners to invest in our Tourism and Hospitality sector. For this we are exceedingly grateful.
At this juncture, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to congratulate the
management of Peermont Global Limited for accepting the offer to manage these properties on
our behalf. Your confidence in my Government and, indeed, the People of Malawi, is
appreciated. I personally believe that we made the right choice to contract you as our
Managers as you have demonstrated that you can deliver internationally recognized 5-Star
service, the first of its kind in Malawi. Your expertise in organizing and managing international
conferences will assist us in developing the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition
segment of the tourism market, which is one of the fastest growing lucrative markets for the
region.
Last but not least, I would like to express my sincerely appreciation to the Minister of
Information, Tourism and Culture and your Officials, the Chairman and the Board of Umodzi
Holdings Limited for working tirelessly to ensure that we have a Manager and that the facility is
operational to the required standard. I wish to urge you to continue providing guidance and
support to Peermont Global Limited to ensure that the facility remains a beacon of excellence
in the hospitality industry.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is now my pleasure to declare the Umodzi Park Complex, comprising of the President
Walmont Hotel, Bingu International Convention Centre, and the Presidential Village officially
opened.
I thank you very much for your attention.

May God bless you all and bless Malawi.