Chikondi Chiyembekeza – The Nation Online http://mwnation.com Top Malawi Breaking News Headlines Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:47:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 Malawi tea penetrates US, Canada markets http://mwnation.com/malawi-tea-penetrates-us-canada-markets/ http://mwnation.com/malawi-tea-penetrates-us-canada-markets/#comments Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:48:12 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=222806 Malawi tea is now being recognised in Canada and United States of America (USA), thanks to good agricultural practices that have become a strong determinant of tea-sourcing decisions and choices by tea buyers worldwide. Tea Association of Malawi (Taml) chief executive officer Clement Thindwa said on Monday that international buyers lean towards tea producers that…

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Malawi tea is now being recognised in Canada and United States of America (USA), thanks to good agricultural practices that have become a strong determinant of tea-sourcing decisions and choices by tea buyers worldwide.

Tea Association of Malawi (Taml) chief executive officer Clement Thindwa said on Monday that international buyers lean towards tea producers that advocate the new and upcoming business values and principles with the potential fall-out for those not shifting towards them.

Malawi’s tea enter international markets

“These principles are some of the pillars that are driving the Malawi Tea 2020 Revitalisation Programme, the most ambitious programme ever that aims at rejuvenating and delivering a thriving and sustainable Malawi tea industry,” he said.

Malawi is the second largest producer of tea in Africa after Kenya—which produces close to 500 million kilogrammes (kg) in a normal year—and the crop is the second major foreign exchange earner after tobacco, contributing about seven percent to the gross domestic product (GDP).

Malawi’s entire tea output hovers around 40 million kg, according to Taml.

Figures from Taml show that the tea industry is the largest private sector employer, employing about 60 000 people.

At the recent Eighth Annual Northern American Tea Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, Eastern Produce was recognised for the quality specialty tea it produced and scooped three awards.

Over the past few years, Malawi has made inroads in both USA and Canadian tea markets, registering export increases of 435 percent to Canada and 85 percent for USA between 2015 and 2016.

Mid this year, a group of Dutch investors comprising tea importers, tea shop owners, health consultants and bank representatives, were in the country to evaluate Malawi teas for the Dutch market.

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Inflation rate drops to 8.3% http://mwnation.com/inflation-rate-drops-8-3/ http://mwnation.com/inflation-rate-drops-8-3/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:35:14 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=222310 A Malawi’s year-on-year inflation rate for October 2017 has dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 8.3 percent from the previous month’s 8.4 percent, figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) released yesterday show. The minimal drop could be a reflection of the increase in non-food inflation by 0.1 percentage points to 11.7 percent in October from…

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A Malawi’s year-on-year inflation rate for October 2017 has dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 8.3 percent from the previous month’s 8.4 percent, figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) released yesterday show.

The minimal drop could be a reflection of the increase in non-food inflation by 0.1 percentage points to 11.7 percent in October from the previous month’s 11.6 percent, according to NSO.

This shows that the drop in food inflation by 0.3 percentage points from 5.1 percent to 4.8 percent did not have an impact on the drop of inflation in October.

Food has a huge weight at 50.1 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure that examines the weighted average price of a basket of consumer goods and services.

During the same period last year inflation was at 20.1 percent, showing that prices of goods and services have in the review month increased at a reduced rate.

Two months ago, inflation hit a single digit, the first time in six years, a feat the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has attributed to reduced food prices and tight monetary policy implemented by the central bank and fiscal discipline, a domain of fiscal authorities.

Government projects a single digit inflation rate for the next five years, according to the draft Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III).

 

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Ecama ushers in new office bearers http://mwnation.com/ecama-ushers-new-office-bearers/ http://mwnation.com/ecama-ushers-new-office-bearers/#comments Fri, 10 Nov 2017 08:23:35 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=221807 The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has ushered in new office bearers to run the economics think tank for the next three years with Chikumbutso Kalilombe elected as president. He has taken over from Henry Kachaje, chief executive officer of Business Consult Africa (BCA), and has been at the helm of Ecama for the past…

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The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has ushered in new office bearers to run the economics think tank for the next three years with Chikumbutso Kalilombe elected as president.

He has taken over from Henry Kachaje, chief executive officer of Business Consult Africa (BCA), and has been at the helm of Ecama for the past years.

Kalilombe (R) listens to one of the presentations

The election took place on Thursday at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi at Ecama’s annual conference held under the theme Rethinking the Pillars and Structures for Malawi’s Transformative and Inclusive Economic Development.

In his acceptance speech, Kalilombe, who works in  Treasury, Sales at Nedbank Malawi, said he did not expect to be elected president of Ecama.

“I never thought of becoming president of Ecama. I thought the president [Henry Kachaje] was continuing,” he said, adding: “I’m humbled, I’m not the best and I will seek your counsel.”

In an earlier interview, Kachaje said he has “been able to contribute what I thought I could contribute”.

“I believe it is time to give the mantle to someone else who will take Ecama to greater heights,” said Kachaje, who said his tenure had been challenging as well as exciting.

Kalilombe will be deputised by Lowina Mwasigala. The Secretary General is Andrew Kumbatira and his vice is Esnart Chilije while the treasurer and vice are Frank Chantaya and Laureen Nyasulu respectively.

Executive members are Eric Hanjahanja, Enock Kondowe, June Kambalametore and Hope Chavula.

 

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RBM calls for inclusive, transformative growth at 2017 Ecama conference  http://mwnation.com/rbm-calls-inclusive-transformative-growth-2017-ecama-conference/ http://mwnation.com/rbm-calls-inclusive-transformative-growth-2017-ecama-conference/#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:04:16 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=221697 The 2017 Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) Annual Conference has opened in Mangochi with call by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) deputy governor Grant Kabango for authorities to plan for inclusive and transformative growth. “Economic growth is said to be inclusive when the growth creates opportunities for all segments of the population and the benefits…

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The 2017 Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) Annual Conference has opened in Mangochi with call by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) deputy governor Grant Kabango for authorities to plan for inclusive and transformative growth.

“Economic growth is said to be inclusive when the growth creates opportunities for all segments of the population and the benefits of increased prosperity in both monetary and non-monetary terms are fairly distributed,” he said at the opening of the two-day conference under the theme Rethinking the Pillars and Structures for Malawi’s Transformative Economic Development.

Kachaje (L), Kabango and Naomi Ngwira, former RBM deputy governor

He said inclusive and transformative growth seeks to level the playing field for all economic agents and increase productive employment opportunities.

Kabango observed that the conference theme is timely and appropriate for what the country is going through.

“The economy is just coming out of a rough patch that has lasted for five years from 2012 to 2016. Inflation had spiraled out of control reaching a high of 37.9 percent in 2013, the kwacha was relentlessly weakening against currencies of the country’s trading partners and in some instances defying fundamentals after initially being devalued by 50 percent in May 2012,” he said.

At the same time, gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed down to an average of 3.6 percent from an average of 7.0 percent between 2006 and 2011.

But Kabango said  picture has dramatically improved in 2017 as inflation has come down as of September 2017 to 8.4 percent from an average of 23.4 percent registered between 2012 and 2016 reflective of a tight monetary policy stance that was pursued by monetary authorities during the last five years and a bumper harvest in 2016/2017.

In his opening remarks, Ecama president Henry Kachaje said as economists they can bear witness that economic growth has not been on a steady path.

He said: “Is there something as economists we could advise better or something that we are missing or economic fundamentals are challenging our economic growth.

“Are we still on the rhetoric mode or we are getting into practice.”

Over the years, Ecama has been meeting, but Kachaje said it seems most of the recommendations made have not helped the economy to be on a sustainable path.

 

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Second Malawi compact fate in December, says MCC http://mwnation.com/second-malawi-compact-fate-december-says-mcc/ http://mwnation.com/second-malawi-compact-fate-december-says-mcc/#comments Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:19:05 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=220715   The Malawi government is expected to know in December this year whether it qualifies for the second compact after the expiry of $350.7 million (K256 billion) five-year energy compact in September 2018. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government agency, provided the money for the energy compact, which is a single sector programme,…

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The Malawi government is expected to know in December this year whether it qualifies for the second compact after the expiry of $350.7 million (K256 billion) five-year energy compact in September 2018.

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government agency, provided the money for the energy compact, which is a single sector programme, to support the Malawi government to increase the capacity and stability of the national electricity grid and the efficiency and sustainability of hydropower generation.

Massi (3rd L) explains a point at the construction site

In an interview on the sidelines of a visit by the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Massi at Phombeya sub-station in Balaka on Friday, MCC Malawi resident country director Molly Glenn said every year in December, the board of MCC, chaired by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meets to look at eligible countries and Malawi is one of them.

“They will be looking at the scorecard performance; that is how the country is being governed. The scorecard is actually coming out in a week and you will see how Malawi is doing once it is published,” she said.

Glenn said the Malawi government and the compact implementing agency, Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-M), have made a lot of successes, stressing that they have worked hard and the infrastructure development is moving forward.

She said the MCC board will also consider the success on the reform side that includes the capacity building at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) in terms of aligning the tariffs with the cost of doing business.

“Those are the factors the board looks at to make sure that the government is ensuring that the needed reforms are done to sustain this investment,” she said.

The compact programme comprises three components, namely infrastructure development, power sector reforms and environment and social performance.

Thus far, 89 percent of the compact grant or $312 million (K228 billion) has been committed and 57 percent of the committed funds or $177 million (K130 billion) has been disbursed, according to MCA-M.

On his part, Massi said he is impressed with the progress of the work despite a number hiccups encountered.

“There are some hiccups here and there but I have been told that 90 percent of the equipment is already here and the way they are performing, they will meet the deadline [of September 2018]”, he said.

MCA-M chief executive officer Dye Mawindo said a lot has happened on the project.

“In terms of progress, we are at almost 60 percent on average,” he said.

The Phombeya sub-station will cost $30.9 million (K23 billion) and involves the construction of the 173 kilometre 400 kilovolt (Kv) overhead transmission lines from Phombeya to Nkhoma in Lilongwe. n

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RBM urges dealers to be innovative, boost BoP http://mwnation.com/rbm-urges-dealers-innovative-boost-bop/ http://mwnation.com/rbm-urges-dealers-innovative-boost-bop/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:30:45 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=219644   The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has advised financial market dealers to be innovative to help boost balance of payments (BoP)—the difference in total value between payments into and out of a country. In view of this, the central bank’s principal economist responsible for national accounts and external sector Mark Lungu has urged dealers…

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The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has advised financial market dealers to be innovative to help boost balance of payments (BoP)—the difference in total value between payments into and out of a country.

In view of this, the central bank’s principal economist responsible for national accounts and external sector Mark Lungu has urged dealers to come up with financial instruments that could attract foreign investors to invest in the financial market, but at the same time be mindful of the inherent risks.

Kazima (L) interacts with Lungu

“They [dealers] could come up with diaspora bonds that could provide an avenue for people in the diaspora to tap from and invest. Our capital account is suffering because of lack of innovation,” he said on Saturday in Mangochi on the sidelines of Financial Market Dealers Association (Fimda) Annual Lakeshore Conference.

Lungu, however, warned that innovation is sophisticated and complex and could bring with it inherent risks that have to be managed.

He said the “financial market can oil the engine of growth, but can also quickly run down an economy” if it is not managed properly.

“There is need for discipline in the industry in terms of managing the risks. There is need for thoughtful diversification strategy and proper balancing of risks,” he said.

In his presentation, Lungu said the country has over the years not attracted adequate foreign direct investment (FDI)—an investment made by a company or individual in a one country in the form of either establishing business operations—over the years due to the country’s economic situation.

Lungu also bemoaned the low levels of remittances—the transfer of money by a foreign worker to home country—which are at $30 million (K22 billion) annually, but said their estimates are that they could reach $70 million (K51 billion) based on the number of citizens abroad.

The conference was held under the theme Balance of Payments: Financial Markets Innovation.

In his speech, Fimda president Grey Kazima noted that the theme resonated well with the job of dealers in terms of the state of affairs on BoP and how relevant the financial dealers can be to that situation.

He said Fimda registered successes such as the establishment of an examination centre for dealers to enhance the certification.

“But the challenge is that we have an interbank market that is skewed towards a few banks, and in terms of showing two-way market quotes, that is not happening,” he said. n

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Conforzi Plantations laments loss of trees http://mwnation.com/conforzi-plantations-laments-loss-trees/ http://mwnation.com/conforzi-plantations-laments-loss-trees/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 08:16:34 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=218394   Conforzi Plantations Limited in Thyolo has decried the loss of trees at its woodlot as an economic loss to the company. The company grows trees such as blue gum and pine as fuel wood for running its tea factory boilers, production of feed meal as well as supplying heat to the company’s poultry division.…

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Conforzi Plantations Limited in Thyolo has decried the loss of trees at its woodlot as an economic loss to the company.

The company grows trees such as blue gum and pine as fuel wood for running its tea factory boilers, production of feed meal as well as supplying heat to the company’s poultry division.

In an interview on Wednesday, Conforzi Plantations Limited compliance and administration manager Goodwin Mwakanema quantified the loss to be in millions of kwacha.

The vehicle that was impounded on Tuesday morning

He said it takes between nine and 14 years for a blue gum or pine tree to mature, which will be about 15 metres tall and cost K22 343.75.

Between July and September, thieves have stolen 28 trees of 30 metres long estimated at K1.2 million. This has been happening for the past years, which means the loss could be more.

On Tuesday, the company’s security team and Thyolo Police Station officers impounded a two-tonner Mitsubishi Canter, registration MH5176, which carried logs from the plantation.

The police station’s spokesperson Rodney Maida yesterday confirmed the impounding of the vehicle and the capture of the driver.

“We have the logs at the police station but the vehicle was released. Investigations are underway to arrest the suspects who jumped out of the vehicle and fled.

“We only arrested the driver who was just hired and has since been released pending investigations. We are confident of arresting the suspects as soon as the investigations are over,” he said.

Maida said they are jointly conducting patrols with the estate’s security team. n

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Standard Bank East Africa Media Forum opens in SA http://mwnation.com/standard-bank-east-africa-media-forum-opens-sa/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:08:10 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=217543 The Standard Bank East Africa Forum 2017 opened yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa with a call to journalists to have an in-depth understanding of banking operations and opportunities for business. In her speech, Standard Bank Group head of media relations-Africa Region Kate Johns called for building relations and sharing insurance insights between the bank, which…

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The Standard Bank East Africa Forum 2017 opened yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa with a call to journalists to have an in-depth understanding of banking operations and opportunities for business.

In her speech, Standard Bank Group head of media relations-Africa Region Kate Johns called for building relations and sharing insurance insights between the bank, which is one of Africa’s largest bank, and the media.

Johns: The purpose is to provide a platform

“East Africa [including Malawi] is quite a unique space and a unique part of the Standard Bank Group. East Africa is the largest contributor of Standard Bank revenue,” she said in her opening remarks at a conference that has attracted journalists and bank staff from 17 East African countries.

Johns said the purpose of the forum is to provide a platform for the bank to outline the trends, operations and success stories in 20 countries it operates in.

One of the presenters, Stuart Theobald, former editor, investigative journalist and columnist for Johannesburg’s Business Day newspaper said the forum will enable journalists to understand how banking operates in Africa.

Also speaking at the forum, the bank’s head of commercial banking for the rest of Africa Manessah Alagbaoso called on African countries to trade with each other, saying intra-Africa trade is minimal at around 12 percent.

“Businesses in Africa are not trading with one another. We (African countries) mostly import consumables that can be manufactured in Africa,” he said, adding that, for example, there is no reason for Kenya to export flowers to Europe instead of African countries.

Standard Bank Group has worked with East Africa Media Forum since 2009 to deepen relations.

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Inflation hits single digit http://mwnation.com/inflation-hits-single-digit/ Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:41:03 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=217327   Malawi’s inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has hit a single digit of 9.3 percent, the first time in more than six years, National Statistical Office (NSO) figures show. The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) had forecast that the rate of inflation will hit a single digit by December this year…

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Malawi’s inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has hit a single digit of 9.3 percent, the first time in more than six years, National Statistical Office (NSO) figures show.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) had forecast that the rate of inflation will hit a single digit by December this year largely due to easing prices of food, particularly maize.

This year, Malawi produced more than 30 percent surplus in maize owing to good climatic conditions after two successive years of low output due to drought and floods.

NSO figures released yesterday show that August inflation rate has eased by 0.9 percentage points from July’s 10.2 percent.

During the same period last year, inflation was at 22.8 percent, and this shows that prices of goods and services have increased at a much more reduced rate.

Reads the NSO Stats Flash: “The urban and rural rates stand at 8.9 percent and 9.8 percent , respectively. Overall, food inflation stands at 6.2 percent from 7.4 percent in July 2017 while non-food inflation stands at 12.2 percent from 12.7 percent in July 2017.”

The drop in inflation rate compelled the RBM to reduce the policy rate or bank rate from 22 percent to 18 percent in July this year.

Last month, RBM Governor Dalitso Kabambe said the central bank will continue with the tight monetary policy to maintain the trajectory taken by inflation and kwacha for the past 12 months.

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Icam banks on 5-year strategic plan for growth http://mwnation.com/icam-banks-5-year-strategic-plan-growth/ Tue, 12 Sep 2017 09:33:12 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=217089 The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam), a grouping of professional accountants, has thrown its weight behind its five-year strategic plan, saying it sets the tone for long-term growth. The plan, which was launched on Friday in Blantyre and will run from 2017 to 2021, will ensure that accountancy qualifications, standards of accounting and…

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam), a grouping of professional accountants, has thrown its weight behind its five-year strategic plan, saying it sets the tone for long-term growth.

The plan, which was launched on Friday in Blantyre and will run from 2017 to 2021, will ensure that accountancy qualifications, standards of accounting and auditing and the standing of members are acceptable both locally and internationally, according to Icam president Henry Chowawa.

Chowawa: We need to have some value inherent values

“To come up with such a comprehensive strategic plan takes a lot of effort and time. The final output is a good road map for the institute for the five years to come,” he said at the launch.

Some of the highlights of the plan include strengthening of the organisation and development, optimising internal business processes, satisfying and delighting customers and maintaining financial sustainability.

Chowawa, who is financial controller at Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company, noted that the strategic plan was developed through a consultative process with several stakeholders and acknowledges the changing environment and the need to be on top in terms of provision of products and services.

In an interview, the guest of honour at the function, Morgan Tembo, who is former chief financial controller of Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company, said it is critical for any organisation to have a road map to refer to in terms of direction.

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RBM to maintain falling inflation, kwacha stability http://mwnation.com/rbm-maintain-falling-inflation-kwacha-stability/ http://mwnation.com/rbm-maintain-falling-inflation-kwacha-stability/#comments Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:03:12 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=215372 The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has vowed to continue with the tight monetary policy to maintain the trajectory taken by inflation and the kwacha over the past 12 months. In an interview on Friday in Mangochi, RBM Governor Dalitso Kabambe said what is critical now is to grow the economy and grow it fast.…

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The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has vowed to continue with the tight monetary policy to maintain the trajectory taken by inflation and the kwacha over the past 12 months.

In an interview on Friday in Mangochi, RBM Governor Dalitso Kabambe said what is critical now is to grow the economy and grow it fast. RBM has projected a real gross domestic product growth (GDP) growth rate of about five percent this year, which the governor said is attainable. 

“This is one of the longest periods of kwacha stability in recent history. With inflation going down, interest rates have also been falling and growth is rebounding,” said Kabambe on the sidelines of the Insurance Institute of Malawi (IIM) annual conference.

Malawi’s year-on-year inflation rate for July is at a six-year low of 10.2 percent, a few percentage points shy of the single digit, which the central bank has planned to achieve by December this year.

Due to the falling inflation, the RBM cut the policy rate from 22 percent to 18 percent in July, a development that compelled commercial banks to peg their base lending rates at around 27 percent.

The import cover—an important indicator of the stability of the currency which measures the number of months of imports that can be covered with foreign exchange reserves—has been above three months.

As of Friday last week, figures from the RBM showed that foreign exchange reserves are at $1.04 billion (K762 billion), or 3.3 months of import cover.

This comprises $693.4 million (K508 billion) official reserves, held by the RBM to anchor the local unit, and $350.9 million (K257 billion) private sector reserves, which consists of money in authorised dealer banks (ADBs) and foreign currency denominated accounts (FCDAs).

Kabambe forecasts the kwacha to be stable more so with the disbursement of $80 million (K59 billion) World Bank budget support and continued exports of the commodities such as tea and sugar, pulses and legumes.

This year’s earnings from tobacco have dropped by 23 percent to $212 million (K155 billion) from last year’s $275 million (K201 billion) largely due to reduced output.

But this is not a cause for concern for the RBM, according to Kabambe.

“We appear to be exporting more not just tobacco. For instance, last year we exported pulses [edible seeds of plants in the legumes family] in excess of $100 million [K73 billion]. The other foreign exchange is coming from tea, sugar, groundnuts and other legumes.

“The way we project ourselves at Reserve Bank, we will continue to have an import cover of above three months, we will continue to have a stability in the kwacha,” he said.

Economics professor at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Ben Kaluwa, believes with the continued tight monetary policy and subdued maize prices, inflation will continue falling with the kwacha remaining stable.

“The RBM need not waiver on its tight monetary policy stance to maintain the path inflation and exchange has taken,” he said in an interview.

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Malawi still underinsured, penetration at 1.4%—RBM http://mwnation.com/malawi-still-underinsured-penetration-1-4-rbm/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:24:16 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=215182 The number of people on insurance in Malawi is at 240 000 against a population of 17 million, with a penetration rate at a paltry 1.4 percent, a situation the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has decried. “As I look at the insurance industry today, its penetration rate at 1.4 percent after 53 years of…

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The number of people on insurance in Malawi is at 240 000 against a population of 17 million, with a penetration rate at a paltry 1.4 percent, a situation the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has decried.

“As I look at the insurance industry today, its penetration rate at 1.4 percent after 53 years of independence shows that our industry is yet to grow.

Kabambe (C) interacts with Singano (L) and Micheal Duncan, managing director of Marsh Africa (Pty) Limited

“It [the insurance industry] is more like a child who is not growing, but is growing grey hair,” said RBM Governor Dalitso Kabambe in his keynote address at the 2017 Insurance Institute of Malawi (IIM) Annual Lakeshore Conference in Mangochi on Friday.

The penetration rate figure given out by Kabambe against the widely quoted three percent, does not compare well with other countries in Africa and beyond, with figures showing in South Africa, the rate is at 16.9 percent, Namibia 6.7 percent and United Kingdom 10.5 percent.

In line with this year’s conference theme, Business Unusual, Kabambe challenged the insurance industry to be aggressive by doing things out of the ordinary to tap into the untapped insurance market.

He said from the look of things, the industry has not met the “needs of the economy”, stressing that with 60 to 70 percent being motor insurance, it is more like Malawi is a motor economy.

Malawi is an agro-based economy with about 30 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) coming from agriculture, but Kabambe observed that the insurance industry has not taken advantage of the sector to grow its business.

The governor said if the insurance sector was responsive to the needs of the agricultural sector, government would not have been getting outsiders to provide insurance in the sector.

Speaking earlier, IIM president Immaculate Singano took time to explain the concept of business unusual, adding that organisations and customers in the industry want change that will require  a departure from the business as usual way of doing business.

“In the present business climate, the view of business as usual is so 20th century and cannot be accommodated anymore. How good and sound is an organisation if it lacks a firm rooting in current market patterns and the ability to predict future market patterns and trends, if it lacks the culture of research, experimentation and innovation?”

This year’s conference attracted close to 200 delegates with presentations from local and regional insurance experts. n

 

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National fibre backbone an economic enabler—Dausi http://mwnation.com/national-fibre-backbone-economic-enabler-dausi/ http://mwnation.com/national-fibre-backbone-economic-enabler-dausi/#comments Fri, 04 Aug 2017 14:37:15 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=214105 Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has reiterated that the $23 million (K17 billion) National Fibre Backbone Project is an economic enabler that will result in reduced Internet costs. Speaking in Machinga yesterday at the demonstration site where he appreciated works being done by Huawei Technologies, the minister said all sectors of the…

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Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has reiterated that the $23 million (K17 billion) National Fibre Backbone Project is an economic enabler that will result in reduced Internet costs.

Speaking in Machinga yesterday at the demonstration site where he appreciated works being done by Huawei Technologies, the minister said all sectors of the economy are bound to reap benefits.

Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi

“We were lagging behind in terms of Internet broadband connectivity. The national fibre backbone is an enabler in economic development in the context that when a country has easy access to Internet connectivity, sending of messages will be cheaper.

“The project has now taken off and this will be done across the country from Nsanje to Chitipa, Nkhotakota to Mchinji,” he said.

Dausi observed that the project will also enhance telecommunications connectivity, connecting all government offices, districts and other services to the national fibre backbone.

Apart from that, it will also ensure that e-health and e-learning are enabled. It will also improve government operations through systems such as the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (Ifmis), Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS), Immigration and National Registration and Identification System, which will be connected through the project.

Huawei has, so far, laid the cable from Mapanga in Chiradzulu to Machinga, a distance of about 46 kilometres (km). The whole project will cover 1 320 kilometres, according to Huawei Malawi managing director Wan Wei.

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Dutch investors eye Malawi tea market http://mwnation.com/dutch-investors-eye-malawi-tea-market/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:06:18 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=211206 A seven-member delegation of Dutch investors is in the country to evaluate Malawi tea for export to their market. Malawi is the second largest tea producer in Africa after Kenya and the industry contributes about seven percent to the gross domestic product (GDP). The delegation comprises tea importers, tea shop owners, health consultants and bank representatives,…

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A seven-member delegation of Dutch investors is in the country to evaluate Malawi tea for export to their market.

Malawi is the second largest tea producer in Africa after Kenya and the industry contributes about seven percent to the gross domestic product (GDP).

Thindwa poses with the Dutch tea mission at Limbe Tea Auction

The delegation comprises tea importers, tea shop owners, health consultants and bank representatives, a situation which shows “how sophisticated the advanced world tea market is”, according to Tea Association of Malawi (Taml).

Taml chief executive officer Clement Thindwa said yesterday the health consultant is meant to look at the proven health elements of tea such as antioxidants, antibacterial, antiviral, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory and ageing suppression, among other benefits.

“The importer will facilitate the import of tea into Belgium in bulk, the shop owners will then dispense to the Dutch consumers, the bankers will provide finance for the transactions and perhaps most interestingly are tea schools for facilitating understanding of tea and how to brew it,” he explained.

The Dutch businesspersons attended Malawi Tea Auction Number 25 on Tuesday at the Limbe Tea Auction, located along Kidney Crescent in Blantyre, and were impressed with the conduct and sophistication of the auction. n

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Nedbank migrates to new system, invests K3.2bn http://mwnation.com/nedbank-migrates-to-new-system-invests-k3-2bn/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 05:27:54 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=210119   Nedbank Malawi says it has invested K3.2 billion in the new core banking system called flexcube which will roll out on Monday. In a statement on Tuesday, the bank’s managing director Paul Guta said the new system, which will help to enhance its Internet banking platform, has also been rolled out at Nedbank Namibia,…

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Nedbank Malawi says it has invested K3.2 billion in the new core banking system called flexcube which will roll out on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday, the bank’s managing director Paul Guta said the new system, which will help to enhance its Internet banking platform, has also been rolled out at Nedbank Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho.

“The new core banking system will increase speed of transactions and bring a totally new Internet banking system. We expect seamless transition with far less disruptions,” he said, stressing that the launch follows months of planning and extensive work behind the scenes.

Migration of the core banking system for most banks has mostly been chaotic with a number of changes, but Guta assured their customers that their account numbers, automated teller machine (ATM) cards and cheque books will remain the same.

The roll out of the new banking system has been a collaborative effort of Nedbank teams from South Africa and Malawi.

Nedbank executive head (Flexcube business owner) Ernest Davidson said with the new system, the bank “will bring new products to the fore a little quicker”.

The bank has said in view of the transition, all Nedbank branches will be closed on Saturday and reopen on Monday and Internet banking will not be available from Friday afternoon to Monday morning but all ATMs will be functional during this period. n

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