JB challenges Malawi economists on recovery plan

President Mrs Joyce Banda has asked economists in Malawi to ‘challenge’ her government’s thinking on the economic recovery plan (ERP).

Speaking in Mangochi when she opened a three day annual conference for the Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA) at Sunbird Nkopola lodge in Mangochi on Thursday.

President Banda said she will welcome recommendations the conference will make for Malawi’s economy to be back on track.

“I welcome you to challenge our thinking.   I welcome you to debate openly and freely, and develop recommendations for us on how we can improve our  approach,” said Banda.

President Mrs.Joyce Banda speaking when she opened the conference.-Photo courtesy of State House

“I am a listening President and my government is a listening government.  We are humble enough to recognize that while we will always have the best intentions, we may not always have all the best answers.  I am particularly looking to this group because you represent the cream of this nation,” the Malawi leader said in remarks broadcast on state broadcaster MBC.

“You have benefitted from our education system, and I can see that you are here because of your devotion to this great country of ours.  I appreciate that you share your knowledge, your passion and your experience so freely with my  government,” she added.

Delivery

The President said the economic revival plans her government is developing will be implemented.

“My government is about results; it is about delivery.  And we have established mechanisms in government to monitor progress and ensure delivery,” said President Banda.

The President also said a conference organized by the IMF, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and Ministry of Finance reported in the past week that their assessment shows that Malawi’s policies in the past five years have not reduced poverty for ordinary Malawians.

“This is not acceptable.  We must go beyond this stagnation; we must go beyond subsistence and coupons economy.  We need to progress, to move forward and solve this problem, not just mask it again with temporary hand-outs,” she said.

The President also requested ECAMA to fully leverage its role as the economic brain trust in Malawi to foster a fair and open discussion with ordinary Malawians about their economic challenges, vision and plans

On track

Speaking earlier, Edward Chilima, acting president of ECAMA said the economic experts will help Banda’s government.

“You can trust us, you can rely on us where economy issues are concerned Madame President, we have creams of economists that are ready to help you and your government get the economy back on track,” he said.

In his remarks, ECAMA patron Thoman Mpinganjira said: “Malawi is at a stage where leaders have to sacrifice their political career to get the economy back on track.”

Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Atupele Muluzi said the theme chosen by ECAMA during the conference was timely and relevant since it was complementing government’s ERP.

“It is critical and important to mention that the theme is relevant as it is consolidating the national programme designed to address the economic challenges it is currently facing,” Muluzi said.

Muluzi called on the private sector to join hands with government in unlocking the country’s economic potential through export diversification and support to small and medium entrepreneurs as contributors to economic growth.

He noted that the success of the ERP would be measured through local community ownership of the initiative, obsessive focus on results, inclusive partnerships and transparency on the use of public resources among others.

Minister of Economic Planning and development Atupele Muluzi welcomes President Mrs.Joyce Banda during the conference.Picture by Francis Mphweya-MANA

Minister of Economic Planning, Atupele Muluzi speaking at the conference.-Photo courtesy of State House

Chilima: Acting ACAMA president speaking at the conference.-Photo courtesy of State House

Thom Mpinganjira speaking at the conference

President Mrs.Joyce Banda in a group photograph with participants to the ECAMA conference in Mangochi..-Photo courtesy of State House

Economic experts at the conference.-Photo courtesy of State House

Army Commander General Henry Odillio and deputy Police chief.-Photo courtesy of State House

Delegates at the ECAMA conference..-Photo courtesy of State House

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