EU talks aid, good governance

European Union (EU) team leader for economic, trade and governance section Jose Navarro has hinted that there is potential to resume budget support in the near future, but governance remains a key priority area.

The diplomat said this on Wednesday in Blantyre on the sidelines of the EU-funded Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) student debate launch.

Navarro: Governance is key priority

Navarro, however, expressed concern over low governance standards in the country.

“We understand no country is immune [from governance challenges]

, but you can’t grow if you have no high ethical standards,” he said.

Navaro said while it will take years to regain trust after Cashgate—the plunder of taxpayers’ money at Capital Hill in Lilongwe—relations are being normalised.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe earlier admitted that the 2013 Cashgate in which K24 billion could not be accounted for, has had a long-lasting impact on the economy.

As a result of Cashgate, donors who used to provide 40 percent recurrent budget support and about 80 percent in development budget pulled out, affecting budget implementation. n

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