Kwacha remains firm

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) along with some economic commentators have said the slight depreciation of the local unit recorded in the previous month is no cause for alarm but rather a normal market occurrence. The central bank and the economic commentators were reacting to a recent situation where the kwacha has remained firm…

Fears over growth, inflation prospects

  The combined effects of dry spells and armyworms attack could thwart this fiscal year’s growth prospects and inflation rate target, experts have warned. In an interview on Thursday, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) agricultural and applied economics senior lecturer Alex Phiri believes the current situation may undermine food output and overall…

Africa ‘working tirelessly’ to create conducive environment for foreign investments

Africa is working tirelessly to get policy and legislative conditions right to ease the business environment and attract more foreign direct investment, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said Tuesday. Speaking at the Africa Business and Investment Forum that was organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), Desalegn…

Infrastructure priority under microscope

  With so much money at its disposal, should the Malawi government be spending billions of kwacha on building stadiums? Decent and Affordable Subsidy Programme widely known as Malata and Cement Subsidy, is justified for infrastructure projects that provide a public good nationwide, but sports stadiums do not meet this criterion, argue development economicsts experts…

  Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) and National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) have bemoaned the increased usage of substandard construction materials in projects. MBS director general Davlin Chokazinga has spoken of his organisation’s resolve to wipe out traders involved in selling uncertified and substandard building materials on the market. Over the years, the sale and…

IMF, AfDB warns on spending ahead of elections

Malawi’s international monetary authorities have advised government to watch its spending ahead of the elections in 2019. The think tanks, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank (AfDB), observed that is important that government safe guards gains registered in the macroeconomic environment saying a more balanced budget will give the country more space to…

Lake Malawi water levels jump 22%

Water levels in Lake Malawi have surged 22 percent since the onset of the rainy season, but power output has largely remained flat, The Nation has learnt. In defending its failure to boost power output despite the increase in Lake Malawi water levels—whose drop was the reason Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) said depressed…

Depressed economic environment fuels bad loans—BAM

  Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM) has blamed the subdued economic environment for increased non-performing loans (NPLs). In an interview, BAM chief executive officer Violette Santhe said the ever increasing NPLs—loans a borrower is not making interest payments or paying principal—have become a risk to the banking sector. The December 2017 Financial Stability Report produced…

Forex reserves drop normal, says rbm

  The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and some economists have said the marginal decline in the foreign exchange reserves is seasonal and a normal occurence on the market. In recent months, the central bank has maintained a foreign exchange reserves position of about three months of import cover, which is the minimum recommended international…

Simcard, generic number registration to prevent crime—Macra

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has said the mandatory registration of sim cards and generic numbers will help prevent crime and fraudulent cases encountered in the absence of the provision. Macra communications manager Clara Mwafulirwa, in an interview yesterday, said the development will enable security enforcement agencies to trace perpetrators using information provided to operators…

Tea output up

Two years after output of the country’s second foreign exchange earner, tea, has been on a downward spiral, production of the crop registered a slight jump in 2017. Figures Weekend Nation sourced from Limbe Auction Floors on Tuesday show that tea production last year marginally increased to 45.5 million kilograms (kg) from 39.44 million kg…

Agro sector output to rebound in 2018—RBM

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said output of the agriculture sector will hit 7.1 percent in 2017 and projects a rebound of 6.6 percent in 2018. However, industry players say the projections do not reflect what is on the ground. For the past two years, Malawi’s agricultural sector continued to register subdued growth,…

Inflation down to 7.1%

  Headline inflation for December 2017 has dropped by 0.6 percentage points from November’s 7.7 percent to 7.1 percent, with Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) projecting a five percent target for December 2018. According to National Statistical Office (NSO) figures, the drop in inflation has put the annual headline inflation rate for 2017 at 11.5…

Microfinance sector  remains strong—RBM

  The country’s microfinance sector continues to remain strong in terms of profit, capital and liquidity despite being hit by non-performing loans (NPLs), according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) 2017 Financial Stability Report. In absolute terms, NPLs for the sector stood at K414.9 million as at the end of September 2017 from K621…

Escom in system upgrade, to enhance efficiency

  Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has migrated to a new management information system (MIS) to enhance efficiency by consolidating all work and systems to produce desired output. The project, which started in 2014 as part of reforms at Escom, is a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-funded project through Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-M). The…