MANGOCHI—Malawi’s Pres Joyce Banda says her government has a prescription which if taken correctly will fix the country’s ailing economy.
“My administration has set industrial production, agricultural production and marketing, boosting exports of special crops and reviving the tobacco industry as some of the tablets meant to revive the country’s ailing economy,” said Banda when she was opened a three-day international conference on national dialogue on the economy at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi on Friday.
The president, who came to power in April after the sudden death of Pres Bingu wa Mutharika, said the country faced numerous challenges ranging from poor political governance to a slowdown in foreign and domestic investments.
“During the state of the nation address of budget sitting, I highlighted a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order to revive the economy which range from poor governance to closing down of businesses,” she said.
Pres Banda said the long to short term economic recovery plan had been characterized by the recent devaluation of the kwacha by 49 percent and restoration relations with traditional donors including the United Kingdom, Malawi’s main bilateral aid giver.
“Although I promised that our efforts would take time to yield results, some of the strategies have already started coming to fruition. The relation with the UK has been restored. Furthermore, on June 22, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board approved the dispensation of resources from the compact,” she said.
She said her government was determined to reduce poverty by also creating opportunities for new jobs, adding that from July this year, government would embark on extensive public works programme that will enable many people especially in the rural earn income.
The president said the recent trips she had undertaken to both African as well as European countries had provided her useful insight that people, especially the private sector, spearheaded by those in Diaspora, were willing to invest in the country.
Mutharika left Malawi’s economy in ruins. Donors had cut off aid to the country dissatisfied with the way the government was handling the economy and treating its people. Refusal to follow recommendations by global lender International Monetary Fund (IMF) saw credit dry up.
Soon after assuming power, Banda reached out to donors as she reversed some of her predecessor’s policies. But how Malawi will do in the long run still remains a question.
----©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.