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…

Mpamba, Airtel money banking system integration in 2018

Plans are at an advanced stage to integrate TNM Mpamba and Airtel Money into the banking system through the National Switch (Nat-Switch) sometime next year, financial regulator the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said. “The integration is already happening right now but at a small scale,” Mbane Ngwira, the central bank’s spokesperson said Wednesday.…

Power outages dampen  Sugar output – Illovo

Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited Plc says prolonged power outages are among the reasons expected to dampen sugar output for the year ending August 2018. The firm said this is apart from the expected climatic conditions in the coming year. In its published audited financial statements for the five-month period ending August 31 2017, the Malawi…

CRB moves to enhance credit access, growth

  Prospective borrowers will soon start accessing enhanced access to credit following the reduction in time the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) takes to process credit records from three days to five minutes. CRB managing director Patricia Mwase said this in Blantyre on Tuesday on the sidelines of the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU)…

Government to sustain business reforms

  With Malawi ranked as the third topmost reformer in Africa on the ease of doing business, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha says government will sustain the gains and push for more reforms. Mwanamvekha—who was Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism during the doing business environment success period under review—was speaking…

Goodall upbeat on growth despite power outages

  Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe is upbeat about the country registering an economic growth of over five percent despite acknowledging the possible threat to the same created by extended power outages. In an interview yesterday, Gondwe said while nobody is denying the fact that the power outages are crippling production,…

Malawi registers modest export growth

Malawi merchandise export trade of agricultural products has registered a modest growth of 6.5 percent between 2005 to 2016, figures from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have shown. During the year under review, LDC exports of goods and services decreased by 6 percent in 2016, while it dropped further from 0.97 percent to 0.94 percent…

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority explains levies on generators

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has come out in defence of levies charged on the generators that industries are buying and using to counter the existing electricity challenges. In his presentation during commemoration of 2017 the World Standards Day, Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) head of innovation Kondwani Masiye said while gensets are subjected to Malawi…

No trade yet for K20 billion bond

  The K20 billion ($27 million) two-year fixed coupon bond which the central bank issued in August to refinance debt is yet to register any trading activity, two weeks after listing on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE). In an interview with Business Review on Tuesday, MSE operations manager Esnat Chilije said although the Treasury note…

Less malawians qualify  For mortgage—report

  Less than one percent of Malawians qualify for a mortgage—a debt instrument secured by the collateral of specified real estate property that the borrower is obliged to pay back—as lenders target salaried individuals and businespeople. This is according to the 2017 Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), a non-profit organisation that promotes…

The rising external debt

  Malawi’s external debt stock has risen to 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) as at June 2017 from 11 percent after Indebted Poor Countries’ Initiative (Hipc) completion point in August, figures from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has shown. Prior to Hipc, the external debt to GDP ratio was…

Malawi savings rate at 2.9%—Firm

Investment portfolio firm, Alliance Capital Limited has said though individual savings are not considerable enough for investment, it is important that the economy gets reorganised to woo resources from all avenues to improve the country’s rate of savings. The country’s saving rate currently stands at 2.9 percent. In its published weekly market review on Wednesday,…

MCCCI faults policy on falling export trade

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has faulted government policies for the country’s dwindling export trade which it says has made businesses lose competition to countries in the region. MCCCI president Carl Chokotho said in a written response to a questionnaire on Wednesday while a needs assessments which would display business…

New airline rolls out in January

  Two years after FastJet winged out the Malawi market, Lakestar Express Limited—a Malawian-owned budget airline—has invested $7 million (about K5.1 billion) to start operating domestic flights by January. After 10 months of operation, the airline plans to expand its footprint in the region, according to its chief executive officer Allain Chidzanja. In January this…