The long awaited National  Planning Commission has at least been established with well-qualified members. Ideas from the public should be solicited or welcomed. If the commission operates effectively, it can be instrumental in the genuine transformation of the Malawi economy. If the plans of the commission are to bear fruit, there must be a…

  In the Weekend Nation of January 27 2018, timely warnings were given by spokesperson of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) about the higher inflation rate ahead of 2019 general elections. The warning is by no means misplaced. Election induced inflations of the astronomical type occurred in 1994, the…

  In 1978, the Independent Commission on International Development Issues whose chairperson was Herr Willy Brandt started its work in the problems of developing countries and their relationship with the industrial North. The report it issued in 1979 titled North-South: A Programme for Survival contained a special chapter on the poorest countries of the world.…

Corruption is one of those vices that are worldwide. One never reads about any country developed or underdeveloped without coming across the problem of corruption. But in some countries, it is worse than in others. The Scandinavian countries are the least troubled with corruption. I do not know how South Africans have reacted to The…

  The above is a heading of an article found in the Christmas double issue  of The Economist of December 23 2017. The article deserves the attention of everyone who cares about the future of the Malawi economy. I have often lamented in this newspaper and elsewhere that the quality of newspapers and magazines which…

    In 1891, the British government grouped tribal States and chiefdom they found south and west of Lake Malawi into one territory they called Nyasaland Protectorate. This is the country which since 1964 has been called Malawi and independent republic. Since that time, Malawi has a well constituted civil service. Overall, this period in…

  With the advent of independence beginning with Ghana in 1957, a number of presidents introduced what they called African socialism. In Ghana, when one of Kwame Nkrumah’s most colourful ministers Krobo Edusei was asked what he understood by African socialism, he said it means you chop small and I chop small which can be…

  On 16th September 2017, I attended a session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre, where I was introduced as a historian, economist and writer. I was then invited t read a paper for the audience to sample a bit of what I know and do. My paper consisted of summaries on the history of…

  Inefficient public (State) corporations were the second albatross in the neck of the United Kingdom. With advisers like Professor Milton Friedman of Chicago University, Margaret Thatcher went on privatising State enterprises. Thatcher gave as her reason that civil servants who were managing the public corporations did not have the abilities and motivations of ordinary…

  On 16th September 2017, I attended a session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre, where I was introduced as a historian, economist and writer. I was then invited t read a paper for the audience to sample a bit of what I know and do. My paper consisted of summaries on the history of…

  That Nyasaland was the poorest colony in 1924 sounds very modern. The Phelps Stokes Commission identified transportation problems especially lack of proper railway systems to connect with sea ports as well as the failure of the government to make use of the education that the missionaries had provided. Now 93 years later, we still…

  Though some overseas people who visit Malawi such as Paul Theroux, ex-Peace Corps from the United States, write offensive things, they have always been well-disposed towards us and our country. Among Europeans who deserve gratitude from Malawians are Professor Colin Baker from Wales, a former civil servant and head of the Mpemba Staff Training…

  Economics is a branch of social sciences which is concerned with people’s behaviour in the course of making a living. It is about the production, distribution and consumption of wealth. Human needs and wants are numerous, but means of catering for those needs and wants are limited. Scarcity is at the centre of life.…

  An American sociologist went to do research in the Ivory Coast two years after the country had gained independence from the French Government. He visited, among other places, a village called Ebrie which was within the boundaries of Abidjan City. He spent several hours discussing the difference between change and progress. His hosts told…

  An American sociologist went to do research in the Ivory Coast two years after the country had gained independence from the French Government. He visited, among other places, a village called Ebrie which was now within the boundaries of Abidjan City. He spent several hours discussing the difference between change and progress. His hosts…

  When we read about the newly industrialised countries of the Far East (the Four Tigers), we learn that they pay extra attention to education. This education is in the form of wide or universal literacy and high scientific as well as business education. Their people acquire higher education not only in domestic institutions, but…

  Recently, a young student of journalism visited me at the office of Aggrey Memorial School and sought my opinion as to which performed better economically, the Kamuzu dictatorship era and the multiparty era. I told her that the first 20 years of the Kamuzu era ushered into the country more development than the first…

We read in the press that inflation has almost halved from what it was during the previous rainy seasons. This is attributed to the drop in prices following the bumper maize harvest. The downward trend in inflation has been welcomed by many people outside the farming industry. Some see the fall in inflation as logically…

  When our leaders say that Malawi must graduate from an importing and consuming to a producing and exporting country, other country leaders in the developing world are saying the same thing, some go beyond rhetoric and introduce measures to enable their firms to enter international trade with full blast. A few days ago, I…

  W e have often heard that Malawi must be a producing and exporting country rather than an importing and consuming country. But as of now, Malawi is not just an importing and consuming country, she produces tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton, and to a smaller extent, pulses. What then do our leaders exactly mean? We…