The distinguished English writer of the 20th century W. Somerset Maughan in his book The Summing Up said among other things that he had come across men who had brought prosperity to big companies but that in anything not concerned with their business, they lacked even common sense. Whenever I read this, I try…

  From time to time when we come across speeches by politicians or writings by economists of the West, especially the United States (US), we are confronted by the phrase “Big government”. It is uttered or written with disapproval. Indeed one of the reasons President Donald Trump proposes higher tariffs on certain imports from China…

  From the middle of the 17th Century when British, Dutch and other European merchants started arriving in India, the journey to the ascendancy of the West over the East had started. By the year 1850, this ascendancy had reached its apogees and was to remain until the end of World War II. Sometime either…

  Can Malawi learn anything from China and Botswana? On one side is the largest country in the world in terms of population with 5 000 years of civilisation. On the other hand is a country ninth the size of Malawi in terms of population though much bigger geographically. From the article that appeared in…

We are told that peace is the indispensable foundation of economic development. We have enjoyed peace since 1959 when the governors of Nyasaland declared a State of emergency and went about arresting about 2 000 people to restore law and order. We are told a country that has plenty of natural resources such as good…

  The poor shall always be with you,” said Jesus, in response to those who felt the woman should have sold the perfume, given the money to the poor instead of anointing Jesus. Yes, the poor are with us. In fact, they are the majority. There are degrees of poverty because there are different levels…

  The theory of monopoly in economics states that; There is a monopoly if in the market only the sellers exists. The firm is also the industry. This happens when for example there is one firm operating a diamond mine. All people who want to buy diamond must buy from that firm. During the one…

If we want to be a healthy nation, we must know something about what it takes to be a healthy nation. If we want to be a wealthy nation, we must know what we must do to make the nation wealthy. So often have we been told that Malawi is one of the poorest countries…

  Let us begin with anecdotes. A humble looking businessperson called at a bank to open an account. In his bag, he carried $60 000. Given an application to fill, he just fumbled with the form. The bank official had to complete it for him. “I did not even pass the Junior Certificate exams,” he…

  Looking at the physical and social infrastructures he had built, Dr Hasting Kamuzu Banda boasted that he had transformed Malawi out of recognition. Physical infrastructures comprise tarmac roads from Bangula, Nsanje in the South to Karonga, in the North. Social infrastructure comprised  secondary schools in every district, the University of Malawi and new referral…

  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…