Economics and Business Forum
About ten years ago, Africa was the laughing stock of the world. It was sneered at as a failed continent where standards of living had declined because corrupt regimes and dictators had robbed their own people.
On the front cover of The Economist dated April 13th to 19th, 2013 there is the face of Dame Margaret Thatcher, the first British woman Prime Minister. It is the face of a bright, beautiful and brainy woman determined to make Britain once more great indeed.
They made America rich and powerful? Who are they? Harold Evans, the well-known Anglo American journalist in his book with the above title gives profiles of 55 men and women whose personal achievements made the United States what it is now, the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
Manifestos of our political parties share at least one common deficiency: lack of long-term principles of how to tackle national economic issues. The main reason is that leaders have not availed themselves of technocrats and thinkers to work on long-term visions for the development of the country.
Since the advent of the Peoples Party government we read again and again of someone claiming millions of kwachas compensations or damages from the government because of the latters failure to fulfil its part of a contract.
In a previous article, we pointed out that apart from the devaluation and flotation, of a currency, the level of prices in an economy could be due to other factors such as the existence of monopolies. Today, we must look at the market power exerted by an oligopoly.
Necessity it has been said is the mother of invention. It is when a person has been through or is entangled in a difficult situation that he or she thinks of repositioning himself or herself, of living differently or learning a new skill to try and cope with the new situation. Where life goes on normally without disturbances of any sort, the incentive to do something out of the ordinary does not exist.
On the readers page of The Nation dated April 15 2013 ,there is only one letter from Charles Chiuye headed "Patriotism needed to Malawi." In the very first paragraph, he tells the readers that a research made at Oxford recently has predicted that it will take another 74 years before Malawi develops.
These days as you read newspapers or listen to the radio stations you get the impression that inflation is the only bugbear. Middle class employees of government and parastatals are pressing for upward revision of salaries to match the rate in the general rise in prices. It has been announced that Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) backed this time by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is contemplating fresh demonstrations.
Commentators on the economy give the impression that the present level of price is due solely to the devaluation and floatation of the kwacha. They are mistaken and they mislead others.