Malawi’s President officially opens Umodzi Park, the new world-class new hotel and conference complex in Lilongwe.
Friday, May 1, 2015
The Umodzi Park precinct in the heart of Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe officially opened on Friday, 1 May 2015, with ceremonies presided over by His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi. The Umodzi Park complex includes the world-class Bingu Wa Mutharika International Conference Centre (BICC), the Presidential Villas and the 5 star President Walmont hotel, which is Malawi’s first and only five-star hotel.
“Our confidence in the business derives from the combination of our world-class facilities and expertise from our management, Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts. Our motivation is to satisfy our customers’ needs and meet their expectations at all times," said Mr Francis Mbilizi, Board Chairperson, Umodzi Holdings Limited.
President Mutharika officially opened the President Walmont hotel during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, 1 May, after which the hotel plaque was unveiled. His Excellency was the very first person to sign the hotel’s visitor’s book. The Master of Ceremony for the morning’s programme was the recently-appointed Presidential Press Secretary, Gerald Viola, and over 1000 locals were entertained by Chisamba, the National Dance Troupe, the Sendera Sisters, the hilarious Chindime and Phungwako. Fanfare from Malawi’s Defence Force Band added an extra element of ceremony to the morning’s proceedings.
Guests included Rt. Hon. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi; Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa, M.P., Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture; Mr George Mkondiwa, Chief Secretary the Government; Ms Elsie M. Tembo, Secretary for Tourism and Culture; Mr Francis Mbilizi, Board Chairperson, Umodzi Holdings Limited; Mr Anthony Puttergill, Chief Executive Officer, Peermont; Hon. Eckleni Julius Kudomtoni, Secretary General, Democratic Progressive Party; Hon. Josia Banda, Regional Governor (Centre), Democratic Progressive Party; Hon. David Bisnowaty, Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City Centre Constituency; and His Lordship Willie Chapondera, Mayor for Lilongwe City.
The President also attended the glittering gala dinner event that played host to 600 invited guests, including Malawi’s First Lady, Madame Gertrude Mutharika, Rt. Hon. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, and Madame Mary Chilima, presidential dignitaries, Peermont executives, Umodzi Holdings executives, VIPs from the tourism industry and media.
Presidential Press Secretary, Gerald Viola, served again as Master of Ceremony for the evening with special performances by the Exodus Cultural Band, as well as Mingoli. The culmination of the evening’s events included a performance of the National Anthem by the Malawi Defence Force Band, after which guests were treated to a fantastical fireworks display over Malawi Square.
The multi-faceted development forms a vital part of Malawi’s plans to boost the tourism sector and is managed by Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts. Peermont was awarded the management contract agreement by Umodzi Holdings Board in October 2014. Peermont already operates a number of large resorts and convention centres in South Africa and Botswana, and brings with it a proven operations and marketing track record, including a substantial business network of customers.
Umodzi Park is set to raise Malawi’s profile within the African conferencing industry, making Malawi an attractive option for conference delegations from within the continent, as well as from the rest of the world. Malawi, known as the warm heart of Africa, has a number of unique tourist attractions, including the beautiful Lake Malawi National Park, and this new development will help to drive tourism within the country.
“The opening of Umodzi Park is a proud moment for Peermont. It is the culmination of a long journey with our partners in Malawi – both the Malawian Government and the Umodzi Board. We are confident that the expertise that we bring to this magnificent property will ensure that it prospers, and that it will be a wonderful asset that all Malawians can be very proud of,” said Peermont CEO, Anthony Puttergill at the launch.
Umodzi Park encompasses the world-class Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Centre (BICC) and the 5 star 130-key President Walmont hotel, the only 5-star hotel in Malawi. The precinct, with over 2500 secure parking bays, includes the double volume and twin buildings which, together, comprise the Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Centre (BICC). The facilities include Lilongwe Auditorium, which seats 1500 delegates and a variety of multi-purpose convention rooms. There is also an exclusive VIP boardroom, lounge and holding room, Mafumu, which has a separate entrance and a dedicated lift, providing an unparalleled level of safety and security. The BICC also features the Mseko Bistro and both buildings open out onto Malawi Square, a large paved outdoor exhibition and event area.
The 5-star President Walmont Hotel has a large reception area, gym and health spa, beautiful lobby bar, relaxing lounge and is home to the elegant Wild Orchid Restaurant. Whether it’s an international conference for heads of state, an unforgettable wedding, a music concert, an outdoor exhibition or festival, an exclusive cocktail party or a boardroom meeting, Umodzi Park caters to all your needs ... it can truly lay claim to being where Africa’s leaders meet and stay.
Call Umodzi Park on +265 (0)1789 888 or Peermont Central Reservations on +27 (0)11 928 1928, or Peermont International Sales on +27 (0) 11 928 1479. Visit www.umodzipark.co.mw or www.peermont.com.