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…

You might think that Malawi’s dualistic agriculture sector—made up of two sub-sectors; namely smallholder and estates—is all about maize. You could be forgiven. Studies show that Malawi’s per capita maize consumption stands at 133 kilogrammes. The staple grain accounts for 54 percent of the caloric consumption by Malawian households. In a distant third position is…

The third Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) is one ambitious document: it wants to maintain single-digit inflation at 7.1 percent and a growth rate of seven percent over the next five years between 2017 and 2022. Built around the theme ‘Building a Productive, Competitive and Resilient Nation’ “that aims to improve productivity; turn…

The third Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) is one ambitious document: it wants to maintain single-digit inflation at 7.1 percent and a growth rate of seven percent over the next five years between 2017 and 2022. Built around the theme ‘Building a Productive, Competitive and Resilient Nation’ “that aims to improve productivity; turn…

So, Malawi’s share of trade in the 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has slumped to 1.9 percent this year from the previous year’s 2.8 percent. What is more? The trade gap with the grouping has widened from $12 million in 2015 to $126.6 million last year—that is more than 10 times…