LILONGWE. – Malawi officially on Tuesday requested the boxing legend Mike Tyson to become an ambassador for their cannabis industry, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday.
In a letter to the former world heavyweight champion dated November 1, the ministry wrote that “Malawi cannot go it alone in this complex industry and needs a partner,” and that it requested Mike Tyson, as the ambassador of the cannabis sector in Malawi. The ministry did not say whether Tyson had responded positively.
The former world heavyweight champion Iron Mike has flourished in recent years in the legal cannabis business.
Malawi joined the list of African countries that allow medicinal use in early 2020, in part to compensate for a sharp decline in tobacco production.
Production and sale for textile and rope manufacture are also permitted.
Sometimes described as “Malawi’s gold”, cannabis had been grown illegally for years before its approval in 2020.
But the industry is struggling to grow, stalled by expensive licences and a lack of investors and buyers.
The government hopes Tyson’s backing would “rope in some investors and even potential buyers,” said agriculture ministry spokesman Gracian Lungu.
“We have been facing a lot of challenges and the progress has been very slow,” Lungu said yesterday.
But the Centre for Public Accountability said it failed to “comprehend why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador” amid government efforts to curb violence against women. – AFP