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…

  When the clock ticks midnight on Saturday, December 31, the year 2016 will take a bow and the New Year 2017 will begin. That is the moment often marked by spontaneous celebrations, including fireworks and drum beating. This is the last entry for Business Unpacked in the year, so, I will dwell on reflections…

In a country where service delivery is generally poor and customer service is seldom up to scratch, it was refreshing to see the Chartered Institute of Customer Management (CICM) last Friday honouring some 87 service providers in appreciation of their service and to inspire others to do even better. Mediocrity has generally characterised service delivery…

For a long time, Malawi has had a negative trade balance in international trade. Malawi continues to have negative trade balance with China, the European Union (EU), Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) dominated by South Africa, India and the United States of America (USA). Negative trade balance means hat as a country, Malawi is exporting…

  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…

  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 the State enterprise makes losses in sectors where they do not…

  If findings of several recent audits of the operations of the public sector are anything to go by, fraud and corruption are rampant in Malawi. The vices tend to happen in various ways, including false claims and inflated invoices for goods and services rendered to the public sector. In 2013, following the shooting of…