AAA Malawi – Looking back after a year.
AAA Malawi, the newest Chapter, struck a year in July 2016. Since its beginning, from recruitment to the task force it has not been an easy road to walk but things are just beginning to pick up.
Malawi, known as “The Warm Heart of Africa” because of the nature of warmth in its people is a landlocked country situated in southeastern Africa and is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. Its Agriculture sector accounts for about 42% of its GDP and about 81% in export marketing, hence the coming in of AAA has been a great advantage to the SMEs in agribusiness.
The Chapter had 10 SME members to begin with and has now grown to 16. Several activities have taken place within the Business Clubs and within the Chapter Activities, from trade fairs to guest speakers on topics such as “Marketing” and “Inclusive Business Models,” to trainings on “Financial Management Systems” and “Branding and Packaging.”
The Chapter has had several success stories.
- Due to the Branding and Packaging training which took place in March 2016, Honey Production Industries, a company owned by Victor Mhango and Fredrick Matress, rebranded. This caused them to have an increase in sales and gain new contracts with one of the big chain stores called “Peoples”.
- Ngabaghila Chatata, a new AAA member was one of the members who pitched at the Agribusiness Pitch Night event. Due to this event, through networking, she managed to get into a USA training called the African Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWEP) which she attended in September.
- In July, AAA Finance Coach Mr Elijah Kang’ara, took members through the FMS training and helped them develop concept notes for the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund which opened its Agribusiness Window in early July. Two members, Frankie Washoni of Hortinet and Victor Mhango of Honey Products Industries have gone through to round 2 where they are now developing full proposals to acquire the matching grant.
It is no secret that the Chapter is striving to bring more value to its members with the belief that once it does so, indirectly there will be an increase in food security in Malawi and Africa as a whole.
Currently, besides various activities in helping the Chapter member SMEs to grow, the Chapter itself has been embarking in its own growth in terms of membership. The Blantyre BC and Lilongwe BC have both been engaging in recruitment for new members to reach its end of year target.
So much is in store for AAA Malawi, as it learns from the achievements of the other Chapters, while walking side by side with them.