Can malawi narrow the trade deficit?

  Malawi Government plans to narrow the trade deficit in the next five years, according to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III). The country continues to suffer from a negative trade balance due to insatiable appetite for foreign goods and continued reliance on imported inputs for production. Figures from the final draft of…

Escom spells doom, loses another 13MW

  Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says it expects the power generation capacity to reduce further to below the current 147 megawatts (MW) as the water levels in Lake Malawi keep on dropping. In a published update on the power capacity available for distribution in the country, the sole power supplier said it has…

Maize prices ease by 1% in October—Ifpri

Average retail maize prices decreased by one percent last month at K130 per kilogramme, although prices in the Northern Region remained higher than in the Southern and Central Region, according to the October monthly maize market report. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) monthly publication, the largest price decrease was recorded in…

Mera to take on ‘illegal’ filling station developers

  Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) will start taking to task filling station developers with uncoordinated and unregulated structures following new provisions in the construction licence. Speaking on the sidelines of a media sensitisation workshop on development in the energy sector in Salima on Monday, Mera director of fuels and gas, Alinafe Mkavea, said with…

MGDS III targets 7% GDP growth rate

  Government hopes to maintain single-digit inflation at 7.1 percent and a growth rate of seven percent in the next five years, according to the final draft of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III. The MGDS III will be implemented from 2017 to 2022. It is the fourth medium-term national development strategy aligned…

Mera explains IPPs tariffs

  Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) says the coming in of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will increase the cost of electricity, ending speculation on the affordability of electricity. At the current 351 megawatts (MW) capacity, the country still fails to meet its demand as Energy Generation Company (Egenco) supplies between 145MW and 150MW to Electricity…

New policy to boost gas uptake—Mera

  The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) is banking on new guidelines for liquid and petroleum gas (LPG) to increase uptake of gas, whose consumption, at 150 grammes per capita, is the lowest in the region. Unlike other countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region, Malawi has made less strides in the sector…

Tobacco registration closes on low note

The 2017/18 tobacco registration period has ended on a low note with fewer farmers registering to grow the commodity during the next season despite extending the registration period from September to October this year. Figures from the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) indicate that only 41 784 farmers have this year registered to grow tobacco with…

New k5 000 note could  Spell doom—analysts

  Government’s plans to introduce a K5 000 banknote has not pleased some consumers and economic commentators, who argue that the move points to longer term macro economic downturn. Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe told Malawi News Agency on Monday that government plans to introduce a K5 000 bank note, to…

Treasury upbeat on new Ifmis

Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has expressed optimism on the success of the new integrated financial management and information system (Ifmis) despite the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raising concerns on human resource capacity during the transition period. Treasury is in the process of procuring a new Ifmis—government’s electronic payment system— that is expected…

Income opportunity declines, says report

  Malawians’ opportunity to earn income slowed in 2017, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), with statistics showing the country’s economic participation has fallen 73 places to 85 out of 144 economies. During the same period last year, the country was ranked 12 out of 144 economies, according to the WEF Global Gender Gap…

Trade balance to narrow by Dec-IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected the country’s trade balance—the difference between a country’s imports and its exports for a given time period—to narrow to 7.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) this year. As compared to the previous year, there is a decline of 3.1 percentage points from 10.9 percent on account…

IRC case backlog worry MCTU

The Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) says there is need to increase the number of sitting judges and panelists at the country’s Industrial Relations Court (IRC) to clear the backlog of cases, which are mostly at the expense of vulnerable workers. The reaction follows revelations by the IRC that it is yet to conclude…

Escom rolls out 8-hour load shedding programme

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has issued a new eight-hour electricity load-shedding programme model which seeks to ensure equitable distribution of electrical energy in the face of power outages. This follows an announcement by Escom this week of an extended nationwide power rationing schedule that saw some areas going between a minimum of nine…

Malawi innovators need recognition —Ictam

The country’s policies are not supportive of local innovators despite the country producing brilliant innovators over the years, the Information and Communication (ICT) Association of Malawi (Ictam) president Wisely Phiri has said. He said recognising innovators does not only give a platform to the innovators, but also informs key decision makers on what Malawians are…