The Scottish Malawi Foundation (SMF) convened the Scotland Malawi Investment Conversation during the visit of President Joyce Banda to Edinburgh in 2013 and has continued in an advisory role with the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre. This Conversation has led directly to the formation of the African Lakes Company Limited as a vehicle for Scottish impact investment in Malawi. 

In 1878 the original African Lakes Company Ltd (ALC) was incorporated in Glasgow with the courageous purpose of investing in legitimate trade as a way of displacing slavery. The ALC was the first company to trade in central Africa and they established the first bank in the region (now part of Standard Bank). The name of the "African Lakes Company Ltd" has been registered as a limited company for the purpose of managing fresh Scottish investment in Malawi.  

In 1858 Dr David Livingstone called for trade to displace slavery and as a direct consequence the African Lakes Company was established in Glasgow in 1878. Their mission has been revived with a contemporary view to investing in Malawi’s future to prove that by investing in trade, Malawi can reduce its dependence on aid. 

Experienced Malawian investment managers will propose investments to the ALC investment panel, focussing on investment in sectors of the economy which offer a good prospect of sustainable growth and which create jobs for women. Investors will be encouraged to join an annual visit to Malawi to meet investee companies. Providing an opportunity to share experience with the ALC’s Malawian investment managers, Scottish and Malawian co-investors and the investees themselves.