The Malawi government is looking ahead to removing some bottlenecks in the education, health and energy sectors with financial intervention by a Belgian institution, BRIDGIN Foundation.
The K7 Trillion ($6.8bn) grant is expected to go towards the implementation of various development projects across the country.
Speaking after the signing ceremony at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, President of the BRIDGIN Foundation Tanko Mauhamadou highlighted that his institution is interested in ensuring that African nations accelerate development to be at par with other developed countries.
“Our primary goal is to help in eradicating poverty levels through provision of grants for research, to come up with high tech solutions to revealing challenges,” Mauhamadou said.
A breakdown on the grant in projects
- The construction of a USD 1billion state of the art teaching hospital in Chileka, Blantyre under Kamuzu University of Health Science ( KUHeS) with its satellites in Mangochi, Lilongwe and Mzuzu,
- Construction of USD 750 million high tech fertilizer manufacturing plant at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR),
- Construction of a USD 480 million Inkosi Yamakhosi M’mbelwa University in Mzimba ,
- Construction of a USD 591million Geology Centre at Mzuzu University,
- Construction of a USD 158 million High -Tech lab at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST),
- Construction of USD 230 million twin tower at Capital Hill to house government Ministries, Departments and Agencies
- Construction of a 1000 megawatts power generation plant to the tune of USD 3.315 billion.
Meanwhile Minister of Finance Sostern Gwengwe is stressing that his Ministry will ensure that the disbursed funds are used for intended purpose as agreed upon by the two sides.
According to Gwengwe, concerned parliamentary committees will be given the chance to provide oversight on the implementation of all projects under the grant.
Gwengwe has also called on all concerned stakeholders including ordinary citizens to make follow ups once the disbursement of the funds starts.
“We will make sure that the implementation is well done in accordance with the terms of agreement and we hope there will not be anything contrary,” said Gwengwe.
However, there is a growing public debate over the legitimacy of the Foundation as various economic and general stakeholders are questioning the monetary size of the grant, arguing it’s too good to be true.
Former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe fears the government may have gone to bed with scammers.
In his Facebook post Kabambe highlights that previously, there have been some advances made on the government by similar organizations with juicy grants and development packages which upon due diligence and detailed researches turned out to be scams.
The Foundation is reported to have expressed interest in an energy investment of a 1.2 Gigawatts power project in Nigeria in October this year.
Earlier this year(April) the BRIDGIN Foundation announced it will provide a US500 million grant to the Government of Uganda towards establishment 4 High Tech Higher Education centres.
But red flags have gone up following how a BRIDGIN deal in Nepal ended.
The Belgian based foundation has been funding African countries and through the construction of high tech universities that provide research and innovative solutions emerging challenges.