FUM hosts annual congress

Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) is set to hold its National Farmers’ Policy Conference in Lilongwe tomorrow which will precede its 12th Annual Congress. The two events, scheduled for Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc), will be convened under the theme Farming for Markets and Development: Partnerships for increased Farmer Productivity, Market Access and Incomes. Over…

Govt hails Zomba  irrigation initiative

  Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda has hailed Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) for supporting farmers under Ntchera Irrigation Scheme in Zomba using solar powered irrigation. Chaponda said this on Tuesday when he visited the scheme situated along the Shire River in Masaula Extension Planning Area (EPA), Traditional Authority Mulumbe (T/A)…

Malawi farmers learn from Zambian counterparts

  Twenty two farmers from Malawi were last week in Zambia for a five-day study tour where they engaged various farmer groups and other value chain players.  The team, which arrived back on Friday, comprised district farmers union (DFU) leaders from the country’s 22 districts. The Malawi delegation, led by officials from Farmers Union of…

The whole world is still in a state of awe over the recent leakage of ‘Panama Papers,’ a set  of leaked confidential documents exposing how offshore companies are used by the global elite to conceal the ownership and control of assets and property worth billions. The Panama papers—co-authored by two journalists, Frederick Obermaier and Bastian…

Government clarifies on electricity deals with IPPs

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has said discussions are on-going between the ministry and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) following the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the IPPs and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) on Term Sheets – a prelude to signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The ministry’s statement contradicts…

World Bank queries RBM monetary policy

The World Bank has questioned Reserve Bank of Malawi’s (RBM) implementation of monetary policy, observing that the policy appears to be losing its effectiveness. But RBM spokesperson Mbane Ngwira in an interview on Wednesday expressed surprise at Bretton Woods institution’s observation, wondering why it should expect monetary policy to be effective when the institution and…

Yawning gap between rich, poor in Malawi

Monica Moyo, from Kawale Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabulabo in Mzimba District cannot escape to be classified in any bracket definition of a poor person. Although there are myriad definitions of who the poor are, Moyo fits into every definition judging by her life and that of her household. She lives around Kanyika Mine, which…

Malawi to benefit from global oil price drop

  Malawi is expected to continue benefiting from tumbling global crude oil price in 2016 as the situation will likely result into stability and possibly subsequent reduction in the local pump prices. Department of Energy Affairs spokesperson Joseph Kalowekamo expressed the optimism in an interview yesterday when asked to react to a latest Commodity Markets…

Mejn faults government on subsidy

Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) has faulted government over continued implementation of Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (Dahsp), popularly known as Malata and Cement Subsidy, saying its costs do not make economic sense. But Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi on Wednesday expressed surprise at Mejn’s stance on the programme, questioning…

‘Politics is passport to riches in Malawi’

  DUMBANI MZALE caught up with DESMOND BIKOKO, councillor for Chigoneka Ward in Lilongwe, who recently reported some directors and senior managers at Lilongwe City Council to the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) for sharing illegal allowances. Excerpts: Q1 How do you look at the current political situation? A1 The country seems to be in a…

Uranium price pick-up holds key to kayelekera mine

  Dual-listed miner, Paladin Energy Limited is still keeping its fingers crossed to see spot uranium prices on the global market rebound to profitable levels for it to resume uranium production at Kayelekera Uranium Mine (KM) in Karonga. The company, through its subsidiary Paladin (Africa) Limited, stopped uranium production at Malawi’s largest investment venture two…

Chuka reflects on kwacha fall in 2015

  Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Charles Chuka has said the fluctuation of the kwacha in 2015 against major international currencies, particularly the dollar, was worse compared to the experience the year before. The governor—in the third monetary policy statement released on Friday—said the situation was exacerbated by panic buying of foreign exchange by…

Desperately queuing for water in Area 25

  Taps in Area 25 in Lilongwe have run dry for almost three days, prompting residents to scramble for available water in reservoirs such as boreholes. The situation worsened on Sunday and saw a mobile water bowser from Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) distributing water to the most affected residents. In the picture, desperate residents queue…

Government maintains 14.2% inflation target

Government has maintained inflation target at 14.2 percent according to the Third Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) released yesterday by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM). Inflation targets for monetary policy are ordinarily set by the National Economic Management Committee that is chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Development. “The inflation target…

Civil service bloats by 61%

The size of Malawi’s civil service surged 61 percent between 2008 and 2015, raising fears about the sustainability of the wage bill and its impact on public service delivery. A special analysis by the World Bank in its Malawi Economic Monitor report on how much Capital Hill is spending on the public sector wage bill,…

MW to benefit from AfDB funding

African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Tuesday announced it has approved $300 million (about K180 billion) long-term loan from its private sector development facilities to finance part of the cost of the Nacala Rail and Port Project of which Malawi is a beneficiary. The resources will be allocated to four entities in Malawi and Mozambique…

Economy could stabilse by may-Goodall

  Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe on Tuesday sounded upbeat on the future of the struggling economy, projecting that the economy could stabilise somewhere in May this year but depending on the weather pattern and climatic conditions. “We expect light at the end of the tunnel which means stabilisation of the economy.…

2015: A bad year for business

It is undisputed fact that the just ending year has been a hell of a nightmare especially to the business community. This has been so as the business environment has not been conducive enough for players to grow as well as survive the harsh environment created by the ailing economy. The Malawi Confederation of Chambers…

MRA to boost revenue collection in 2016

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has said it will employ new strategise, that will include widening the tax base to boost tax collection in next six months. MRA Commissioner General Thom Gray Malata told Business News on Wednesday the measures apart from enforcement of Electrical Fiscal Devices (EFD) through extensive awareness campaigns by mobilising consumers…

2015: Year government failed to revive economy

The year 2015 was never short of persisting economic woes. In fact, listening to the tone of most economic experts, donors and other senior government officials this year economic performance was at its worst. Their conclusion is purely based on how key macroeconomic indicators performed during the year. Government has almost missed all set macroeconomic…