ALABAMA: A group of thirteen Malawian businessmen is leaving for the United States of America on Thursday as part of the group’s initiative to boost local businesses.

The group, led by renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, Napoleon Dzombe, will visit the US state of Alabama at the invitation of the Alabama-based Landmark Church of Christ.

“As part of our development efforts to assist Malawi, we have extended an invitation to a group of Malawian businessmen whom we have made relationship with to come to Alabama as part of a business exchange trip,” reads part of a letter addressed to the American Embassy in Lilongwe by the Church’s pastor, Wes Gunn.

Gunn said, while in the United States, the group will be exposed to a wide range of relevant industries that could be developed in Malawi.

In an interview, Dzombe said the trip, which will see them spending a week in the States, is an opportunity for the group not only to develop business relations with their US counterparts but also to get fresh perspectives on their businesses and explore new markets.

 

members examining their itinerary before departure

 

“Some of us are going there to explore new technologies that we could use back home to develop our businesses. Others are traders and farmers who are keen to learn how to add value to their products. This trip is therefore a great opportunity for us to acquire new ideas and skills so that we can contribute to the generation of foreign currency which is currently in short supply in the country,” Dzombe said.

He said on their return, the group will implement and share with other businesspersons in the country what they will have learnt in the US.

“It’s not good just to go there, come back and do nothing. We will make sure to implement and share with others what we will have learnt,” he said.

The businessmen, who have paid for their own air tickets, will be hosted by their US counterparts but will be expected to contribute US$30 each for fuel for a bus, which has been provided by the Church.

In August 2011, the group also toured India to learn what their Indian counterparts are doing.

Dzombe came to the limelight in 2010 when he won the 2009 Nation Achiever Award for improving the lives of his fellow Malawians. Amongst his numerous ventures is a school in Mtalimanja Village in Dowa, which teaches farmers how to improve their agricultural outcomes and be able to sustain their families.

Those traveling with him include, Kennedy Mwanyongo, Chikoti Zulu, Henry Masina, George Chitsosa, Phillip Kambalame, Michael Felix, Benson Chikuya, and Edward Madziada. The businessmen have come from Lilongwe, Dowa, Mchinji and Karonga districts. – Zodiak 

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