Chinese loans necessary for Malawi development: Economists back Mutharika

Malawi cannot construct a new airport at Chileka or increase power generation capacity without borrowing funds therefore the recent announcement by President Peter Mutharika to borrow $1.5 billion (K817.5 billion) from China to fund several infrastructure development projects, is a wekcome development, Economists Association of Malawi (Ecama) has said.

Edward Chilima: Back Mutharika on Chinese loans

Edward Chilima: Back Mutharika on Chinese loans

The loans would be obtained from the Exim Bank of China.

“If we don’t borrow, will we be able to construct an airport? It is a fact that we cannot raise our own resources and the loans will be for good intentions such as Blantyre District Hospital. Only if we were borrowing for consumption, then we would be in trouble,” Ecama executive director Edward Chilima said.

Economist Chilima is quoted in The Nation newspaper saying comparatively, the public debt levels in relation to the GDP was currently on track.

Among the Chinese projects is a 300 megawatts (MW) Kam’mwamba coal-fired power plant with a project cost of $667 million (about K387 billion) to be implemented by Gezhouba Group Corporation Limited of China.

The other projects the President announced include the National Identity Cards (IDs) project worth $50 million (about K29 billion) and construction of a new Chileka International Airport in Blantyre at the cost of $285 million (about K165 billion).

Ecama director has since asked the government to enhance domestic resource mobilisation so that our consumption budget is taken care of with domestically generated funds..

Meanwhile, the newspaper reports that Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe would table Loan Authorisation Bills in Parliament in due course

Nations Msowoya, Ministry of Finance’s spokesperson would not go into specifics of the loans such as repayment period and interest rates, but said the terms of Chinese loans were “standard”.

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If government was responsible there would be no need to sell ourselves once again to the Chinese… Chamba basi. Ife tidzalipira mpakana liti


Looking forward to seeing beautiful infrustractures of Blantyre District hospital and the Chileka International Airport. Those that implement projects are biased sometimes. Because they don’t come from the region where the project is taking place, they deliberately leave out other parts appearing on the plan. I’m only thinking aloud.


Nobody is questioning the necessity of the Chinese loans or grants, mr Chilima. It is the distribution of projects, transparency and use of these funds that are being questioned. Dpp are too greedy taking all these funds to the south.

Concerned Citizen
Wow, now we are talking DEVELOPMENT. Where have you all been? 300 MW additional power and from an alternative power source, this is music to my ears. That you are borrowing offshore thank you as you will not crowd us out. At least there is a chance of taming this wild inflation and interest fire. But please can I urge us as a nation to be extremely serious. If we want tourism to be a major forex earner and we are upgrading our airport, let us get back to basics: 1. You cannot leave the Mangochi road to be in… Read more »
lawyer wa boma

to me, IDs is welcome develop.,a must take. mankhwala athu mazambians,tamzaniansangolandilanawo coz of no IDs.check #s anthu olandira ma ARVs in border districts! zovetsachisoni. nanji chipatala chaulele hehede! ndinagwirapo ntchito m’boma ndi munthu wa ku zambiya,analembedwa ngati mmalawi,is mbewe by name & chewa by tribe,chichewa chapaphata could gov track him? mmalawi without ID is absurd kkk boma ili chitukuko langofikanacho pa uchitsiru ndithu zosowa izi..imagin boma kudziwa pamene munthu wakumudzi wafika zaka 100! kkk boma ilo! otsutsa ukweche uwo!

Nde ineyo

We sold our souls to the Chinese


I think Mr. Edward Chilima, you are missing the point altogether. Reading through all comments and input from the citizenry when this news of Chinese loans surfaced, no one is saying or against the borrowing itself, people want to know what are the terms of this loan as ita the citizenry that will contribute through tax to pay back those loans. And it is a democratic right for the citizens to know the terms of the loans. The second issue is the allocation of the projects in terms of sharing this national buffet of projects.


To take aloan for national ID”S is usless kunalibwino kugulula mankhala muzipatala. Ine ndilipanopajoni koma ID ndililinayo yazikolino komasindinabadwilekuno ndiye or obwela atafunakuyipeza ID yamalawi akhozakuzayipeza.


Chilima-You may not understand what strings and the Chinese aid comes with and the level of indebtedness the country is being saddled with.If only government were serious, they could finance these projects without borrowing.This is going to leave the country with high debt to GDP ratio and I am wondering why you cannot see that!Read Proverbs 22:7

chidongo John

May the president not priorities the issue of ID & tackle with health first. Otherwise the other projects are important as well. Well done APM

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