That the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) is one of the most inefficient public institutions in Malawi is a no-brainer. Admarc has this rare and extraordinary gift of making losses in almost every commercial endeavour it indulges itself in or has been pushed by its political masters at Capital Hill to carry out. As…

It must have been a proud moment for former president Bakili Muluzi. His son—Atupele—who is a Cabinet Minister in the Peter Mutharika administration—had just retained his post as president of the United Democratic Front (UDF). This is the party the self-styled political engineer helped to establish and almost single-handedly turned into a governing party for…

For years, donors—especially bilateral development partners—would suspend budgetary support from the Malawi Government based on opinions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emanating from the country’s performance under its supported economic programmes—from the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility to Extended Credit Facilities. The reasons the fund would give for red lights to general budget support…

Malawi’s economic fundamentals remain stable generally despite a few setbacks and overall image/perception issues that appear to be crowding out fairly positive news on economic stability. Inflation is easing back to comfortable single digit levels after threatening to return to double digits in the first quarter of the year. In May this year, headline inflation…

One of the major reasons Malawians are suffering—terrible social service delivery in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation; poor infrastructure, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, static poverty levels and underdevelopment in general—is because of how the system has allowed those entrusted with the management of public resources to misuse…

This week, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development released a statement that was published as an advert in major dailies and was picked up by the main-stream media as a major news item. The press release—among other things—announced a K50 billion cut to the proposed 2018/19 National Budget and how such a reduction…

One of the major reasons Malawians are suffering—terrible social service delivery in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation; poor infrastructure, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, static poverty levels and underdevelopment in general—is because of how the system has allowed those entrusted with the management of public resources to misuse…

  Two years to the expiry of Vision 2020, President Peter Mutharika this week launched the third generation Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III), which is the country’s overarching medium-term development tool designed to lead the country towards attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first MGDS document was implemented from 2006 to 2011…

Opposition members of Parliament (MPs)—especially those from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP)—this week did a pretty good job of pretending to care about transparency, accountability and adherence to public finance management principles. The MPs took umbrage at how the Executive branch housed at Capital Hill in Lilongwe allocated around K4 billion to 86 constituencies without…

“A further group of [26] projects must be implemented to a stage where each is visible,” this was Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe in his Mid-year Budget Review Statement. I am confused. What does implementing projects to a stage where they are visible mean? This is a questionable statement when one looks…

Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe’s 2017/2018 Budget Statement was full of promise on Malawi’s fiscal outlook, but things have turned out so badly that the fiscal chief’s problems are much larger than advertised. The financial outturn also speaks volumes about the competences of Gondwe’s team at Treasury when it comes to revenue…

Having come to and end of 2017 and entered 2018, let’s reflect and take stock. First is the good news that the Peter Mutharika administration has made a lot of progress in stabilising the economy. The local currency, the kwacha, remained relatively stable throughout 2017. Headline inflation is in single digits and falling. Interest rates…

As we come to the end of the year 2017, let’s reflect and take stock. First is the good news that the Peter Mutharika administration has made a lot of progress in stabilising the economy. The local currency, the kwacha, has remained relatively stable throughout the year. Headline inflation is in single digits and falling.…

December is not known for good economic news in Malawi. In this month—part of the so-called lean period that starts around November and stretches to February—life is hard for both households and firms. In this month, food shortages become widespread, inflation usually heads upwards and the local currency, the kwacha, pants under pressure. But this…