The Egyptian government plans to construct two tobacco-processing factories in Malawi to support the country’s tobacco industry, according to the Malawi News Agency.
The Egyptian Ambassador to Malawi, Maher El-Adawy, said the construction of these factories will help spur economic growth because the crop is regarded as the country’s main forex earner.
“We have always been in a good relationship with Malawi, and we are happy to support it, especially in the tobacco industry because we know that tobacco is the main forex earner, and by doing so we will help the country’s economy to grow,” El-Adawy said.
El-Adawy also indicated that construction of the two factories will not only spark economic growth, but also aid in job creation.
“We believe the construction of the two factories will also create employment for some quarters of the Malawian society thereby helping them to improve their lives,” he said.
According to the World Bank, 90 percent of Malawi’s tobacco is exported to other countries for processing due to the country’s currently limited tobacco-processing capabilities.
“Much of our tobacco is exported for processing because we do not have the capacity to do so,” said Malawi’s minister of information, tourism and culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa. “So by having these two tobacco processing factories, Malawi will start processing the tobacco on its own and sell the products on our own for a profit.”
One factory will be built in Lilongwe; the location for the second factory is still being decided by the government. Construction of both factories is expected to begin soon, according to El-Adawy.
Malawi is one of the top 10 producers of tobacco in the world, with the crop accounting for the majority of the country’s agricultural export earnings.