Today, we bid goodbye to the month of November 2017 and tomorrow we go into December—the last month of 2017. December is usually an exciting month mostly because of Christmas Day on December 25, the day when Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour. To add spice to the…

  During consultations by the now dissolved Public Service Reforms chaired by Vice-President Saulos Chilima, one area of concern was the performance of State enterprises or parastatals. Whereas some State enterprises are performing well and, at the end of the year, give dividends to their shareholder, the Malawi Government, many others have remained perennial sick…

In one recent article I discussed why some statutory corporations (SCs) or parastatals or indeed, in short, State enterprises continue to make losses year-in and year-out, in the process burdening the taxpayer to bail them out. I argued that it was ironic that State enterprises make losses in sectors where they do not have competition…

  Desperate measures demand desperate solutions. That is the situation Malawi has found itself in as power generation has gone to some of the lowest levels in the country’s history. From the explanation of Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) chief executive officer William Liabunya, within a week, electricity generation has dropped from 180 megawatts (MW) to…

  Businesses and their customers have a symbiotic relationship. They depend on each other. Businesses provide goods and services to customers whereas customers pay for the same and keep the businesses in business. In the competitive business environment, businesses scramble for the available customers. In other words, customers keep businesses going. Perhaps this is the…

From the 2017 Insurance Institute of Malawi (IIM) Annual Lake Conference came a gloomy headline: ‘Malawi still underinsured, penetration at 1.4 percent-RBM’. The story was based on concerns or sentiments expressed by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe in his keynote address. In actual figures, the RBM Governor, who is the registrar of…

If you ask electricity users in Malawi when last they had uninterrupted supply of power from the national grid through Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), a majority of them will likely tell you they do not recall. In fact, some of them will tell you that in rare cases where Escom supply goes uninterrupted…

By now, electricity consumers in the country should be accustomed to the power supply cycle. In recent years, it has become predictable that if the country gets ‘above normal rainfall’ hydro-electricity generation machines along the Shire River will be washed away. On the other hand, when the country gets ‘normal rainfall’, the water levels in…

  News that the country’s inflation rate has hit the highly anticipated single-digit has created a lot of debate and excitement. In some cases, the development has caused confusion. The National Statistical Office (NSO) reported last week that Malawi’s inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), hit the single digit at 9.3…

  When I look at the manner the Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm), the country’s dominant provider of health insurance, runs its affairs I get the impression the Society feels it is doing its membership a favour. In other words, Masm appears to have embraced a “take-it-or-leave-it” approach. It is detached from the membership…

  Information and communication technology (ICT) has become a part of life and simplified business processes. Today, very few organisations as well as individuals undertake transactions manually. Through the Internet and other ICT platforms, businesses have embraced technology in a bid to achieve efficiency in service delivery. Courtesy of ICT, one is able to carry…

  From the 2017 Insurance Institute of Malawi (IIM) Annual Lake Conference last weekend came a gloomy headline: ‘Malawi still underinsured, penetration at 1.4 percent—RBM’. The story was based on concerns or sentiments expressed by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe in his keynote address. In actual figures, the RBM Governor, who is…

  By now, electricity consumers in the country should be accustomed to the power supply cycle. In recent years, it has become predictable that if the country gets “above normal rainfall” hydro-electricity generation machines along the Shire River will be washed away. And when the country gets “normal rainfall”, the water levels in Lake Malawi…

For many years, tobacco-the country’s economic mainstay that is touted to account for about 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings-has been under threat, casting doubt regarding its future. Through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)-a binding treaty between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and 192 member States-tobacco advertising and smoking in public is discouraged.…

Effective September 1 the Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm), the country’s dominant provider of health insurance, has raised its monthly premium (subscriptions fees) by 25 percent. Following the hike, Masm members on Very Important Persons (VIP)  members contribution has gone up from K16 800 to K21 000, Executive scheme K9 000 to K11 250…

Until 1995 when First Merchant Bank (FMB) joined the fray as the country’s third commercial bank, Malawi used to have only two banks: National Bank of Malawi (NBM) and Commercial Bank of Malawi (CBM) now trading as Standard Bank Limited. The New Building Society (NBS) provided commercial banking services, but was not a full-fledged commercial…

When Malawi embarked on a $20 million World Bank-funded Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme-Malawi Project, the expectation was that retail Internet tariffs would be made affordable to users. However, over a year since the project, being implemented in 25 African countries, was completed in Malawi, retail Internet prices remain some of the highest in the world.…

  Pension is generally understood to be a retirement savings plan where one saves part of their income today to use on a rainy day, especially when one is in the “sun set” years of life. In an earlier article, I posed the question: ‘What do we know about pensions?’ In that entry, I gave…

  Information and communication technology (ICT) has become a part of life and simplified business processes. Today, very few organisations as well as individuals undertake transactions manually. Through the Internet and other ICT platforms, businesses have embraced technology in a bid to achieve efficiency in service delivery. Courtesy of ICT, one is able to carry…

Finally, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe unpacked his proposed 2017/18 National Budget in Parliament last Friday. It is a ‘Cautious Budget’ in which the minister tried his best to strike a balance between “lost” or foregone revenue and new sources of revenue to finance the annual financial plan set to roll…