The newly sworn in President Joyce Banda should immediately restore relations with the IMF and donors if Malawi is to move out of its current economic crisis, some commentators have said.
In separate interviews Â on Sunday, the Malawi Confederation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), the Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) and a Chancellor College analyst agreed that working to improve the economy should be a priority for Banda as she tackles long-term measures.
â€œThere are indeed serious problems, but what is needed as a priority is to stabilise the economy. We have to immediately sort out relations with the IMF and all our bilateral partners and donors,â€ said MCCCI president Matthews Chikankheni.
Mejn executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said the starting point should be putting God first for overall guidance while â€œurgentlyâ€ reconciling the countryâ€™s foreign and economic policies.
Said Kubalasa:Â â€œThe President should, thus, immediately act on all advice and action points towards addressing the serious economic challenges prevalent,â€ said Kubalasa.
University of Malawiâ€™s Chancellor College-based economics professor Ben Kalua said to sort out the countryâ€™s problems there is need not only to put in place good economic policies but also to ensure implementation of those policies.
â€œThis means restoring of the kwacha to its natural value. Some of these things can be done even by next week,â€ said Kalua.
He said the country needs to do away with the zero-deficit budget and review trade relations with other countries.
Kalua said there is also need to be rational in the appointments of people to high offices arguing that the country has been subjected to people who are not objective in their advice to leaders.
Said Kalua: â€œThe mess we are in is both economic and political. We can solve the economic mess if we also sort out the political mess in terms of appointments.â€
On long-term solutions, Kalua suggests a re-configuration of some of the ministries, especially economic ministries such as Trade and Industry, arguing that these are critical, but for a long time have been sidelined.
Banda takesÂ over the presidency at a timeÂ the country is facingÂ numerous challenges such as forex and fuel shortages as well as inadequate drug supplies in public hospitals.