Fears over drop in foreign inflows

  The decline in foreign inflows is expected to have a direct impact on the country’s economic performance and growth prospects, an economic analyst has warned. According to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), during the month of December, foreign inflows dropped by K5.6 billion to K5.1 billion from an increase of K7.8 billion to…

Sector growth projections to be reviewed March

Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has said it will review growth projections for this year next month. On Friday, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe provided rough estimates of expected growth to Parliament in his Mid Year Budget Review statement. In a written response to a questionnaire, the ministry’s spokesperson Davis Sado said that while…

Nacala underutilisation threatens 12 390 jobs

  Despite the cost of competitiveness of rail than road transport, volume growth in transit cargo, best suited for transport by rail and destined for landlocked Malawi, continues to remain low. According to the Nacala Corridor and Port Performance Assessment Report of February 2018, the underutilisation of the corridor threatens 12 390 jobs. The performance…

Tobacco earnings under microscope

Affected by dry spells, there are fears that tobacco earnings will shrink further this year due to expected low output despite prospects of good prices. But in an interview yesterday, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chief executive officer Kaisi Sadala argued that while issues of pricing are regulated by government, weather changes may bring a turnaround…

Revenue collection on decline—report

  Government has for the second month running recorded a decline in total revenues with available statistics from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) indicating a 6.7 percent slump in December to K74.7 billion. This follows another decrease of 1.9 percent to K80.1 billion recorded in the preceding month. On a yearly basis, total revenues…

TCC against uncertified tobacco seeds

The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says it will not entertain growers of uncertified seeds this year, warning that those who will bring such tobacco to the auction floor will not be allowed to sell it. Farmers who do not register with TCC are largely being blamed for plaguing the market with tobacco from uncertified seeds.…

Firm tips government on Mid-Year Budget Review

  Investment portfolio firm, Alliance Capital Limited, has singled out agriculture, energy, unemployment and government debt as key issues which needs to be discussed with ‘clear-headedness’ during the mid-term budget review. In its published weekly market review on Wednesday, the firm said while these are not the only problems confronting the Malawi economy, improving in…

Experts speak on Ethiopia, Zambia airline deal

An aviation expert and the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) have expressed reservation on the deal which Ethiopian Airlines signed last month with the Zambian government to re-launch the country’s national airline, which ceased operations more than two decades ago. According to Reuters Ethiopian Airlines has struck a deal with shareholders of Zambia Airways and…

CFTA to unleash Africa’s full potential, says ECA chief

  Africa’s signature policy reform of 2018, the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), is set to unleash the continent’s full potential with more African countries trading with each other in a wider integrated market, says United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) executive secretary, Vera Songwe. She said especially the extractive sector on the continent…

Borrowing limit raise draws mixed views

  Economists and commentators have given mixed views on Treasury plans to raise domestic borrowing limit to K47.1 billion from the current K27.8 billion. The move, according to a copy of proposed expenditure cuts circulated to heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) signed by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, is…

Malawi debt

  Economists say while the growing public debt puts a  burden on future generations, it is worrying that government continues to borrow mostly for consumption. The continued appetite for borrowing comes against the backdrop of a report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), which has placed the country, alongside other 21 Least…

MBS cautions Castel over substandard Sobo Squash

Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has ordered Castel Group to recall, reconcile and issue an apology to consumers within seven days for supplying substandard Sobo Orange Squash last month. In a published statement on Monday, MBS director general Davlin Chokazinga said failure to oblige to the order would result in withdrawal of the manufacturer’s certification…

Govt courts investors at SA mining indaba

  The Malawi government plans to court potential investors at this year’s mining indaba underway in South Africa. The indaba is the largest mining investment event in the world with over 350 investors expected to attend. In an interview yesterday, chief mining engineer in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Casius Chiwambo noted…

Maize prices up 40%

  Maize prices have risen by 40 percent mainly due to the looming deficit occasioned by the combined effects of dry spells and fall armyworms, raising fears on the spike in inflation rate. A snap survey in the Central and Southern region markets show that the price of the grain, the country’s staple, has risen…

Cotton growers seek govt intervention

Balaka cotton farmers have asked government to start regulating the standard of inputs and equipment sold on the market. In an interview in Balaka, one of the cotton farmers, Christopher Mazulu of Chipote Village, Traditional Authority Sawali, said counterfeit products have flooded the market, affecting cotton output. “Substandard sprayers, counterfeit cotton seed and chemicals are…

RBM to boost medical insurance uptake

    The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) plans to increase medical insurance penetration and ensure that service providers are regulated through the proposed Medical Aid Bill. RBM director of pension and insurance supervision, Chimwemwe Kachingwe, in an interview last week said the registrar of financial institutions hopes to increase penetration for medical insurance scheme…

  Cotton Farmers Association of Malawi (Cofam), a grouping of small-scale cotton farmers, says the future of cotton farming still looks gloomy despite good weather prospects and buyer availability. Cotton output has dropped by 95 percent over a six-year period, from a record 100 000 tonnes in 2010 to around 15 000 tonnes last year.…

Trade group explains Nacala Corridor underutilisation

  The National Working Group on Trade Policy says while Nacala Corridor remains one of the country’s cost effective routes, lower input than anticipated has impacted its utilisation. In an interview, chairperson of the group Frederick Changaya said while a full utilisation would mean moderate priced products for the consumer, issues to do with transit…