Dr Chikaonda was born in August, 1954 in Blantyre, Malawi. He was a distinguished financial economist with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree specialising in Finance from the University of Massachusetts (USA, 1984-89), and was professionally qualified in management with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (USA,1981-83). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours, BA (Hons), from the Council for National Academic Awards, at Huddersfield University (UK, 1976-80), and a Diploma in Business Studies (Pass with Distinction) from the University of Malawi (1972-75).
Dr Chikaonda served as a Professor of Finance (1988-1994) at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. In addition to having considerable experience in management and corporate restructuring, he has vast experience in economic management, policy formulation and implementation at the national level. Dr Chikaonda served as Deputy Governor (1994-1995) and later as Governor (1995-2000) of the Reserve Bank of Malawi. In March 2000, he was appointed to the Cabinet and served in the Government of Malawi as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning until January 2002. In April 2002, Dr Chikaonda was appointed to the position of Group Chief Executive of Press Corporation Limited (PCL).
PCL is the largest corporation in Malawi with significant contributions to the national Treasury in tax revenues. It is a highly diversified conglomerate active in the financial, manufacturing, fishing, trading and processing sectors doing business in the SADC region and beyond. As part of its efforts to diversify the investment portfolio, PCL recently acquired (February 2006) a controlling interest in Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) through the Government’s privatisation programme. Currently, MTL owns 40% of Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM), a mobile telephone company, and PCL is pursuing a sizeable portion of the remaining 60% of TNM. Further, PCL is continuing to explore other viable investment opportunities in various sectors (e.g. energy, tourism) to strengthen the group’s portfolio of investments and enhance its income stream.