Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe, has said government plans to open the long awaited Malawi Development Bank before the end of this year.
Malawians have for many years been waiting for the coming of the development bank, which would facilitate long-term local and international investment.
Gondwe was, however, non-committal on when Capital Hill intends to set up an agricultural bank to spearhead the growth of the agriculture sector.
“We are progressing very well on the [issue of] development bank but on the agricultural bank we are still consulting.
“We are doing this because it is important particularly on the development bank because it will allow people to invest. We are hoping to open it before the end of this year,” he said.
For a long, time the private sector has been requesting for the establishment of a development bank to be able to get long term loans at lower rates.
The bank is expected to be established on the initial capital of $25 million but to start its operations on an initial capital of $6.75 million.
Last year, Gondwe said the establishment had been dragged because of the legal paper work to be approved by the Reserve bank of Malawi.
Bankers Association of Malawi (Bam) president, Paul Guta, said his association looks forward to working with the government on this establishment.
“It is a very welcome development. We commend that move and we look forward to working with government to make sure it becomes a success” Guta said.
Government announced plans to establish development and agriculture banks after selling the Malawi Savings Bank and Inde Bank in 2015 against strong advice from other stakeholders.
Countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania have development banks.