My grandfather was a long-serving accountant and my father also worked in accounting for his entire career. They both inspired me, along with my love of numbers and problem-solving.
After graduating in 2011, I joined PwC. However, I realised my passion was not in audit and initially decided to switch to the corporate world, joining Telekom Networks Malawi as an accountant.
Later I joined the public sector because I saw it as an opportunity to add more meaning to the work I do. Knowing that I am impacting Malawians for the better gives me more satisfaction than anything else could. I also encounter people from different backgrounds and nationalities, and learn how other people deal with challenges similar to mine.
Knowing that I am impacting Malawians for the better gives me more satisfaction than anything else could
Today, I am the finance lead for the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC), which leverages private capital for investment in public infrastructure. I am currently implementing the first phase of a World Bank-funded project, the Digital Malawi Program. Its objective is to increase access to affordable, high-quality internet services for government, businesses and citizens, and to improve digital public services.
On its own, the government is unable to provide sufficient resources for the development of public services. The PPPC's role is to approach private investors for support with these capital-intensive projects. For our partnerships to work, the government needs to be at the forefront, promoting and advancing the opportunities while making the economic environment conducive for private investors. Bold steps to combat corruption have provided some reassurance for potential investors.
Currently, we are seeking funding for a major hydropower generation project that will change the landscape for energy provision in Malawi. Slowly, we are finding more private investors, and I believe this will become more widespread in the future.
As in other African countries, challenges for businesses in Malawi include rising costs, scarce access to finance and lack of basic infrastructure. However, major opportunities are to be found in the agricultural sector; recently, investors have supported farmers, and we see growth in their operations.
What I enjoy most about my job is the level of respect I receive as a finance professional. It is very important in this field to uphold a high moral standard. Once you prove yourself, then senior colleagues will have confidence in you and trust the quality of your work. This brings me great satisfaction.
Most girls in my country drop out of school at a young age and don’t have the chance of a career like mine
I became an ACCA at the age of 24, which is young given the cultural context in Malawi. Instead of breaking glass ceilings, most girls in my country drop out of school at a young age and don’t have the chance of a career like mine. At 31, I am now the equivalent of a CFO, managing the finances of a US$72.4m project.
If I had the power, I would enact a law that would uphold the basic human right to education for girls and other vulnerable groups. I would also ensure that government policies were translated into action.
If I wasn’t an accountant, I would have been a civil engineer, as I love numbers and would want a career that involves maths.
In my spare time I like aerobics classes and reading books. I also enjoy giving career guidance to girls in secondary school and plan to do more of this.