RBM launches micro finance institutions hub

  The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) on Friday officially launched the Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) Hub Company Limited in Lilongwe. The company, whose objective is to promote financial inclusion through technology by ensuring secure transactions and improved service delivery, will officially roll out mid next year with 20 MFIs in the pilot phase. While…

Firm says policy rate maintained

  The Monetary Policy Rate is expected to be maintained at 18 percent in the short term as pressure on the exchange rate gradually increases during the lean and growing seasons due to increased demand for foreign exchange (forex). Investment and advisory firm Nico Asset Managers have said this in their October economic report. In…

Germany commits  K97bn for development

The government of Germany has called for efficient, transparent and accountable management of public resources as the two countries strengthen their bilateral cooperation following a commitment of 113 million euro (about K97 billion) in development support. Speaking at a meeting in Lilongwe on Wednesday, German deputy head of mission and head of international cooperation Thomas…

Macra develops e-waste management strategy

  Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says it is developing a strategy that will help in the management of electronic waste (e-waste). Malawi has no mechanism to dispose of e-waste or refineries that would be used for recycling purposes. Research shows that one tonne of mobile handsets minus batteries equates to 3.5 kilogrammes of silver,…

Nico owed K4bn in pension funds arrears

  Nico Holdings Plc says it has not been spared the non-remittance of pension funds as companies owe the group K4 billion in pension funds arrears. Nico Holdings Plc managing director Vizenge Kumwenda said this on Thursday in Lilongwe during a cocktail party the group hosted for its existing and prospective customers. He said: “A…

World Bank economists urge strong reforms

Malawi needs to pursue reforms that will sustain  macroeconomic stability, foster transformation of the agriculture sector, and encourage private sector development that provides productive income-generating opportunities for the growing population, the World Bank has advised. In a recent Country Economic Memorandum (CEM), the authors—Richard Record, Priscilla Kandoole and Praveen Kumar—note that the country will have…

Macra, ITU partner in child online protection drive

  Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has partnered International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other stakeholders to develop child online protection services for children accessing Internet. Speaking on Monday at the opening of a stakeholders forum on the development of a national child online protection (COP) framework for Malawi in Lilongwe, Macra director general Godfrey Itaye…

K5 000 banknote on the cards—Goodall

  Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe says plans are at an advanced stage to introduce a K5 000 banknote, but fell short of disclosing when it will be issued into circulation. In an interview last evening, the minister said the K5 000 banknote will be introduced “soon” and is designed to…

Blackouts negatively hit small businesses

  Prevailing and prolonged power outages in the country are negatively impacting on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who have expressed concern that their businesses are almost dying. Currently, the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco)—that sells power to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom)—is only generating 160 megawatts (MW) of electricity against the average…

Agricultural architecture does  not support resilience—VP

    Vice-President Saulos Chilima has said the country’s agricultural architecture is not resilient enough to withstand climate shocks. Delivering a key note address at this years’ Compact 2025 Malawi Roundtable hosted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri), Chilima said current agriculture structural design, where impact of investment is social protection-oriented like the…

Group urges resilience in agriculture

  International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) has urged resilience in agriculture for the country to end hunger related problems by 2025. Speaking ahead of the Compact2025 Malawi Forum to be held on October 31 2017 at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc), Ifpri director general Shenggen Fan said a resilient agricultural system could take…

Why the capital  Market is stagnant

  Capital markets— marketplace where buyers and sellers can engage in and trade in financial securities—for both debt and equity has remained underdeveloped for a long time.  This has resulted in sub-optimal investment in areas critical to the country’s development. The capital market plays a critical role in channelling savings from household and corporations into…

Inequality on the rise, say economists

  Malawi’s dual economy—the existence of two separate economic sectors in one economy—has not helped to improve income inequality, economists have said. In economics, dual economies are common in less developed countries such as Malawi where one sector is geared to local needs and another to the global export market. Economists were reacting to a…

Non-performing loans up 69% in 2016

Non-performing loans in the banking sector increased by 69.9 percent in 2016, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has shown in their 2016 Financial Institution Annual report. According to the report, non-performing loans (NPL’s) were recorded at K74.4 billion in the year under review, up from K43.8 billion in the previous year. Consequently, the ratio…

Malawi up 3 steps on competitiveness index

  Malawi has moved three steps up on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The country has moved from 135 in 2016 to 132 this year out of 137 economies, according to WEF. The index assesses factors driving countries’ productivity and…