Inside Malawi with Attorney General Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda: BITs, FDIs and Combating Corruption

As per the World Bank report, Malawi’s economy is poised for a 4.2% growth in 2024, rebounding from a 2023 slowdown attributed to climate shocks and global challenges. Positioned as an emerging hub for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), Malawi is a focal point in the latest “Brown Business” episode.

Hosted by Rajan Nazran and Baiju Vasani, the episode features Honourable Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda, Malawi’s Attorney General, and Sid Jiwnani, Solicitor-Director (Europe) of Knovos. The discussion delves into Malawi’s legal landscape, emphasising its importance in the context of Africa’s potential as an FDI destination.

Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda sheds light on the Attorney General’s Memorandum, outlining tailored legislation aligning with the Constitution and the nation’s economic needs. Addressing concerns about corruption, he outlines Malawi’s stance and the government’s efforts to create investor-friendly legislation.

Sid Jiwnani highlights the use of technology, specifically “transparency portals,” to enhance investment processes, fostering transparency and efficiency. This strategic use of technology aims to attract robust foreign investments while combatting corruption. The episode concludes by exploring the interplay between bilateral investment treaties and FDIs. 

Join us for a deep dive into the intricacies of doing business in Malawi, where opportunities abound amidst a landscape primed for sustainable economic growth and investment prosperity.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.

Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

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About Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda

Honourable Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda is the 20th and current Attorney General of the Republic of Malawi. His ex-officio roles include being the Head of the Malawi Bar and Chairperson of the Malawi Council for Legal Education.

Before becoming Attorney General, Honourable Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda was in-house legal counsel and manager of the Ethics and Compliance Division at the Reserve Bank of Malawi. Before that, he served as a Senior Legal Aid Advocate and Senior State Advocate at the Legal Aid Department (now Legal Bureau) and the Ministry of Justice. 

He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Degree from the University of Malawi and a Master of Laws Degree in International Financial Law from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

About Baiju Vasani

Baiju Vasani is a barrister and arbitrator with Twenty Essex, a “Tier 1” rated Chambers in London. For well over two decades, he has served as an advocate or arbitrator in dozens of high-value international arbitrations across a range of industries involving ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, ICDR, SIAC, SCC, HKIAC, BITs, the Energy Charter Treaty, and public international law. He has also advised States on the negotiation and drafting of investment treaties. He has experience creating and managing winning global strategies for investors and States in high-stakes, sensitive disputes involving geopolitical issues or major criminal allegations. His primary geographical focus is the former Soviet Union states, Eastern Europe, Africa, North and South America, the Middle East, and West and South Asia.

Baiju currently serves as a lead advocate on several investor-state and international commercial arbitrations and regularly sits as arbitrator (sole, wing, and Chair). He has an active pro bono practice using international dispute resolution techniques to further the global rule of law and is passionate about bringing diversity into the international arbitration field.

He is a Senior Fellow in International Law at SOAS University of London, where he lectures on international law. Baiju is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is on the arbitrator panels of various institutions worldwide, including ICSID. He has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown and given visiting lectures at, among other universities, Harvard, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Paris II, Ghana, and Moscow HSE.

He holds four degrees in law – a Bachelors (LLB – London), two Masters (LLM – London, BCL – Oxford), and a Juris Doctorate (JD – Northwestern) – is admitted as a Barrister in England and an Attorney at Law in the District of Columbia, USA.

About Sid Jiwnani

Sid Jiwnani is the Solicitor- Director(Europe) @Knovos, formerly Capital Novus, with 10+ years of PQE and specialist knowledge of legal technology such as automation and e-discovery.

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