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…

  If hints from Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe are anything to go by, there won’t be a change in the sum value of the 2017/18 National Budget as he will stick to the K1.2 trillion like the current financial plan. During Pre-budget Consultation Meetings, Goodall and his team got input…

Towards the end of last year (2016), The Nation carried a series of news stories on poverty, mainly focusing on the expiry of the second Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) implemented between 2011 and 2016. Briefly, the conclusion was that MGDS II, as a tool to fight poverty, had failed to deliver on…

  End of an era. New beginnings. Old Mutual Malawi used these taglines to describe the change of guard at its helm following the retirement of good ol’ Chris Kapanga as group chief executive officer (CEO) and the coming in of Edith Jiya effective March 1 this year. To Chris, as he prefers to be…

Yesterday, March 15, was World Consumer Rights Day. The day dates back to 1962 when President John F. Kennedy of the United States of America addressed the US Congress and formally raised the issue of consumer rights. Records show that JFK became the first ever world leader to raise issues of consumerism; hence, the consumer…

Yet another gloomy headline graced the front page of The Nation newspaper edition of February 28 2017. It read: ‘Parastatals miss target by K8.8 billion’. The story said State-owned enterprises or parastatals remitted K2.8 billion in dividends to their shareholder, the Malawi Government through Treasury. That amount was against a set dividend target of K11…

For a long time, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has preached about expenditure cuts/controls as one way of walking the talk on austerity measures. Incumbent Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe is no exception as last September, barely three months into the implementation of the K1.2 trillion 2016/17 National Budget,…

  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…

  Towards the end of last year (2016), The Nation carried a series of news stories on poverty, mainly focusing on the expiry of the second Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) implemented between 2011 and 2016. Briefly, the conclusion was that MGDS II, as a tool to fight poverty, had failed to deliver…

  Between June 29 and 30 2015, Malawi played host to men and women clad in designer suits who intermingled at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) complex talking investment. Touted as the first such initiative on home soil, the Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) was successfully hosted courtesy of the Malawi Government through the Malawi…

  To many people, the New Year comes with new resolutions and goals to improve their situation or plight. To achieve their goals, some invest in further education, others in property development as well as investing in children’s education. On the social scene, some make it their New Year resolution to minimise or altogether quit…

The PCL power switch

  End of year news reviews for 2016 would be incomplete without the mention of the change of guard at the helm of Press Corporation Limited (PCL), the country’s giant conglomerate with interests in diverse sectors. During the year under review, Matthews Chikaonda packed his briefcase from the gigantic office on the seventh floor of…