Kachaje on Malawi economy: What is our excuse?

In one meeting which I attended, a question was asked; “What should Malawi stop doing to make economic progress?” One diplomat responded in just four words; “stop looking for excuses”. I can’t agree more.

Kachaje

Kachaje

We seem to be too obsessed with finding and inventing excuses to justify our economic malaise and stagnation. We blame it on the withholding of budgetary support by donors, as if we are entitled to taxes of other nations. We blame it on floods and yes, of course, on cashgate – everything it’s because of cashgate. We have perfected the art of making excuses so well that we might as well start offering degree courses in Excusiology.

Think of this: Malawi has a land mass of about 118,484 sq km, five times the size of Israel, a country situated in a very hostile region covering only 22,072 sq km. Malawi has about 24,000 sq km of fresh water bodies that comprise three good lakes and over ten perennial rivers that criss-cross the entire length of the country. On the other hand, Israel has meagre 2% of Malawi’s water mostly sourced from de-salination.

Most of the land in Israel is desert and rocky. But guess what? In 2012, Israel exported agriculture products worth about US$2.4 billion! And what did Malawi do with all the fresh waters and its vast arable land? It produced and exported some cancer-producing poison called tobacco worth about US$270 million and about US$200 million worth of food crops. What is our excuse?

In 2013 Malawi had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a miserable US$3.7 billion, just about 1.3% of the GDP of Israel that stood at a staggering US$290 billion! Life expectancy in Israel is 80 years for men and 84 years for women according to the United Nations. In Malawi, life expectancy has just risen to 54 years, thanks to lots of free medical aid from donors.

I can almost hear you arguing that it is unfair to compare Malawi with Israel. “Why not pick another African country?” Yea, another good excuse. If you want to progress in life, you don’t compare yourself with other failures. We need to raise the bar high and start challenging ourselves.

We have been too comfortable in mediocrity to the point that getting back on track of an IMF Extended Credit Facility has become our national major goal. When did qualifying for a drip in the intensive care unit (ICU) become an achievement? (…to be continued)

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54 thoughts on “Kachaje on Malawi economy: What is our excuse?”

  1. Ngoma, Thomas, London says:

    Economic development of a nation is too serious a business than most people realise. Yes it is rocket science indeed! As I have asserted on numerous occasions, there is nothing on the political horizon of Malawi currently that can save this nation economically.

    When I return I promise to bring the industrial revolution that this country badly needs to break with the current Malthusian epoch economic stagnation and start creating wealth. I am 200% confident that we will all galvanise ourselves under my leadership into a national powerhouse. Agriculture will always be with us but it not the starting point. Mining will be with us but it not the starting point. Agri-industry is good but is not the starting point. Tourism is not neither. Appropriate technology industries certainly not the starting point. The starting point is a secrete that has eluded all Malawian leaders to date!

    Malawi needs to be shown this secret to development…and the solution is sitting on my desk in front of me right now! When I travel around the world I see how big and small countries have developed and Malawi is still languishing with no hope in sight. Recently I was in Israel. I saw the innovative award winning irrigation systems (drip feed) but that is not the starting point for Malawi. It can help but Malawi priority is to implement the real solution.

    Surely while you are all waiting for this solution there are some basic things you can be doing until I return. a) Reform financials system to cut down RBM bank rate to below 5% and cut down the criminal inflation rate to less than 5%. Stabilise the exchange rate. b) Stop infrastructure investment based on imported resources which worsen the current account deficit (CAD) and external debt. Tempting as it might be for a third world country; that is false economics.
    When I return here is what you can expect…
    i) Industrial revolution;;; unleashing the productive capability of every Malawian in every sector agriculture, manufacturing and services and using advanced technology made in Malawi.
    ii) Boom in construction of skyscrapers, high rise, advanced bridges and my pet project- a bridge between Salima and Makanjila; modern Steam boat on lake Malawi, Chtipa to Nsanje train and to modernise district town centres, schools, health and houses.
    iii) Malawian GDP galloping towards $200 bn with over 10 million high paying jobs.
    iv) Wealth, wealth for all Malawians of all walks of life from North, Centre to South – no region left behind.
    v) Love and affection amongst Malawian people. We need real love and not antagonism between tribes. We have never fought wars against one another so why are we hating another but for political gains? Fold the map of Malawi so that Chitipa and Nsanje are kissing in love!! Amen.

  2. Stevenson makungwa says:

    I can see from the various comments that Malawians have solutions to our current problems. God Almighty gave us all the resources. The National anthem says it all. What we lack is ACTION. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. And who should start the ACTION? Simple question. YOU AND ME. Not our political leaders. After all it is you and me that put them there through elections. We have numerous NGO’S in the name of fighting for the poor. Is this true? How many churches, prophets, professors, doctors, highly educated people do we have and what are they doing to develop Malawi? NOTHING. Malawi no longer needs seminars and workshops but ACTION. No more fighting each other. Let’s be POSITIVE. Always. When commenting on issues let’s offer constructive ideas instead of just wasting precious time opposing and ridiculing one another. We are all sons and daughters of Mother Malawi and let’s all make our mother PROUD.

  3. Youth League Chairman: Kawale 1 market says:

    Well, a good starting point for self reflection and introspection as a country. However, Mr Kachaje, perhaps you should have asked the diplomat to expound on his answer. I am one thousand percent certain, he would have told you: “malawians cannot demand good governance”. Why this is the case – should probably shape your future articles. Here are a few contextual insights into our current woes and chaos. In 1994, we voted a very well thief with a previous conviction of misappropriation public funds, into the highest office in our land. He ended up machinating the victory of a well known quasi destitute and crook as well (chucked out of an Area 3 flat for failing to pay monthly rentals) to succeed him. This guy became a multi million are in dollars in a few years as Malawians passively observed. Last year, we voted another person who we knew had “swindled” us by purchasing 2 of “our” houses (yes, MHC belongs to us!) at ridiculously undervalued prices. What Mr Kachaje is writing about are symptoms of a rotten culture that has slowly ingrained our society since 1994. Thieving and corruption have become a norm in the civil service. Society at large has been made to believe one can always succeed through deceit and not hard work – a complete recipe for disaster. Let’s be honest with ourselves. These problems might take a generation to solve. A cultural shift in mindsets will never be achieved in the short or medium term. We need to find ways of inculcating a philosophy of demanding good governance in our primary school kids – let’s revisit the CIVICS curriculum so that it incorporates realities in a democratic dispensation. It’s only such kids who will have potential to bring back sanity to our politicians by fully holding them accountable

  4. Balamanthu says:

    It is owing to minds like those of the “Analyst” that this country does not move forward.There are times in life one has to examine themselves whether they are making progress or not.As a country, we are not and we do need drastic measures to change our situation.Bootlicking like the Analyst who cannot tolerate alterantive views will not help

  5. Okay says:

    Interesting comments and article. One thing that comes clearly is the mark we Malawians are known of. That is, self denial and blame shifting accompanied by wasting time by being theoretical than practical. For how long shall we curse ourselves? For how long shall we condemn each other? Foe how long shall we blame APM and any sitting president? For how long shall we point fingers at others including God? For how long shall we expect everything from Government? Haven’t we discovered that those who have realised the secret of hardworking are doing well in the same land we think we are cursed? Why are we so negative about everything? Don’t we know that the tongue has power for life and death? Unfortunately the clergy are not helping us! What would have happened if we had ten Bushiri thinking people in Malawi? I have discovered at my workplace that most peol who make noise and always blame others including government are so careless. They are middle income graduate earners. But look at their lifestyle. Loo! What do they do with their salary? Drink, enjoy, women! Suppose we have hundreds of such people in Malawi, can we develop? Shall we then be justified we accept that we are poor because of this or that? I for one made up my mind to be positive. If many of you feel you are failures, I count myself out. If many of you feel in this erratic rainy season you won’t harvest I count myself out. Can’t we think positively for once and love our country and contribute to it? Please we are tired of too many academic theories. Let’s say we can, and indeed we shall manage.

  6. khwangwi says:

    What do we have? What can we do with what we have? We should trim our service offerings to be in line with our productive capacities. I have lost track of what some ministries are doing, like the ministries of Agriculture, Tourism, Economic planning etc. Our economy needs to be redesigned to match with our economic output.

    We need visionaries and transformational leadership in all the key sectors of the economy. We should not react to economic events but we should shape such events. It is possible with self-denial and less politicking. We need to use zero-base strategies in order to move forward.

    Economic failure results from trying to do too much from too few resources. Scrap off some of the ministries and redirect the resources towards industrialization, mining and infrastructure development. Work seriously towards reducing unemployment and maximizing economic activities.

    We should not consume what you don’t have! Why luxury vehicles on the streets of Malawi. Suspend importation of such goods! Our Economists must do their work!

  7. Achimidzimidzi says:

    I think MUST can offer Excusiology, as it is in the Lhomwe area and most of Lhomwes don’t accept any reasoning apart from theirs due to very poisonous snakes their eat. e.g. mamba, m’bom’bo nalikukuti ….

  8. Zuze says:

    Joshua the St Michael- Did Israel cashgate the $3.115 billion? You are dull.

  9. Zuze says:

    Henry Kachaje’s has only compared Israel and Malawi on Agriculture and water resources. What are we doing with our water resources? You Malawians, you hate people with brains. Nsanje which is highlighted in your national anthem.

  10. Aningo says:

    A masterful piece!! Judging from the prayers at BICC last weekend, we are already set to blame “bad rainfall” for the sure poor harvest this year. What we need to produce food is not rain; we need agricultural technology that will make use of the available water for crop and livestock production. Talking of agriculture without control over water is nonsense.

  11. Nabanda says:

    And then we will all comment on this and continue with the mediocrity that we are so used to and comfortable with it defines us Malawians! instead of doing something about it. We always think that am just one person what can I change but hey, a journey starts with one step. if each one of us stopped blaming the president and his cronies and stopped mediocrity in what ever we do, paid jobs, businesses, agriculture and start working hard we might turn things around. Koma we all think we can maintain mediocrity and the president is responsible, he cant do it alone. This mediocrity is a culmination of 16 million people’s mediocrity and not one persons. So stop pointing fingers at others, stop complaining and do something about it!!!!!!!!

  12. JIMMY KOREIA-MPATSA says:

    My fellow Malawians, we tend to focus too much on the negatives instead of the positives, we prefer to talk than to act, we prefer to criticise than to remedy.
    Can we start by analysing the opportunities that our country offers us and exploit them for the benefit of our families and the country at large.
    Why are we crying/praying for rain when the good Lord has already given us sufficient water for our crops (lakes and rivers)?
    If it’s leadership that is failing us, why are we failing to hold them accountable?
    Why are we wasting our reasources by financing short term initiatives to support consumption such as (FISP) and Malata subsidy instead of supporting production (irrigation)? Why are we allowing our members of parliament support such initiatives at the expense of irrigation and then cry with us when rains fail?
    Why are we allowing politics and not the economy to dominate our daily lives? In fact why are we allowing politics to feature in the main support structure of our economy?
    I cry for my beloved country. I cry for the needless suffering and loss of life of my people.I cry for the comatose state of our economy.I cry for the learned compatriots who are failing to raise a hand and assist in the development of my country.

  13. mlauzi says:

    Let`s not trivialize education. Even education “just for its own sake” makes a difference between those who have walked on the corridors and those who haven`t. However it is also true that “some” not “all” professors and PHD holders will perform poorly than MSCE holders. When choosing leaders we should not only look at academic qualifications. We should also look at vision, motivation, strategy, empathy (with ordinary folks), humility, faith, will to serve (and not to be served) etc.

    Kachaje is correct in his analysis. I have been to Mauritius and it is difficult to believe that this country was poorer than Nyasaland at the time of independence, yet this is true.

    Look at how other African countries are progressing when we are not just stagnating, but retrogressing as well. Look at Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Kenya, even Tanzania among many others.

    We need to harness all our resources, including intellectual, financial, land, water, flora and fauna etc. and pull together to move the country out of this mess. It can be done, but it needs patience, will power and for want of a better word “sense of ownership” – if not outright patriotism. However with wrong leaders at the top it will all come to nought

  14. Tchetcha says:

    Yayimumuna yakanika kukoka ngolo, the president has no clue as to what he can do. He failed to perform as Minister of Justice, Education and Foreign Affairs Minister, what can he do as a State President?

  15. youna says:

    I have seen most comments are just excuses. We are indeed obsessed with excuses.

  16. Jendayekha says:

    How I wish we had more Kachaje’s in Malawi.

  17. Benjones says:

    Unfortunately our people are so corrupt and every thing revolves around them is linked to corruption they have sold they concoius to corruption. Every thing is linked to corruption. You need to have a leader with vision but again our leader is too corrupt and like all others only thinks for himself and not the well fare of our country. Until our leader and us all don’t come out of this corrupt system we will never prosper.

  18. Kumamvetsa says:

    Sad the analyst. What you’re presenting are only extracts from the true facts. Indeed what Kachaje is saying isn’t only comparing. He’s only telling us that Israelis use their brains rather than peddling excuses.
    Israel doesn’t have diamonds. And yet they are a major exporter of diamond products.
    Israel exports Java oranges from Java desert.
    Israel is technologically high ranking because they use their brains for development not for giving excuses.
    I want to remind the analyst that Mauritius was much poorer than Malawi as late as 1967.But it took them to compare their poorness with countries such as Malaysia and Taiwan. Today you can’t compare Mauritius with Malawi

    This is what Kachaje is sharing with us

    I thank Kachaje for his insight. Keep it up for the good of our children. Don’t be discouraged by the Sapitwas and the analysts of this clumsy nation

  19. frank says:

    The problem in Malawi is the devaluation of the Kwacha, every time a business prospers and makes a small profit a devaluation happens and once again our purchasing power is erodoed so instead of expanding we end up staying poor, the only time i saw all malawians prospering was druring kamuzu era and the First term of Bingu was kwacha remained stable for 5 years, that time malawians could grow as there saving and purchasing power was not eroded. IMF is basically ruling malawi by forcing devaluation of the kwacha so we remain economic slaves of the IMF and are forced to dance to there tune when we know some of the policies are not here to help us but to take us into more poverty. It is about time government stand up to IMF and dump the free floating regime of the kwacha as it has never and will never work in malaw.

  20. popapo says:

    There was Chinkhuntha who did not go through Bunda or any Agricultural college but he did wonders. Ah! they decided to call him Dr Chinkhuntha, really befiting his achievement. We have Napoleon Dzombe similar background to Chinkhuntha very practical person, then Mpatsa, Bishop Simama, FDH Mpinganjira, Mulli, if only each family unit had the same creativity we would be far. Creativity to feed ones family is paramount. Koma competetion to build mansions at the age of sixty for what Malawian, let us create jobs mukalowa ku mwamba.

  21. What Kachaje is simply calling for is action. We do not need those PhD analysis our friend has given us. We do not need to send more people to school we have enough graduates doing nothing including our learned PhD graduates employed but contributing nothing to our economy why because they analyse, analyse and analyse then talk , talk and talk and do nothing. We never run out of excuses, actually the only thing we are good at is being creative in finding excuses ! We are lazy nation so no matter what masters and PhD we get mean nothing just gather dust. What we need is EACH family unit must start producing something. That family must be self reliant and stop depending on government for food, medical care, education. Once we achieve this self reliance we will be actually contributing also towards more taxes into government. I am assuming we will also stop voting for thugs into government positions ! We should all start campaigning within our extended families that we must all produce something and save money . Our learned PhD graduates demonstrate you are PhDs in your action not words otherwise some of us we will not admire you anyway ! My plea is ALL (100%) MALAWIANS WORK WORK WORK AND WORK HARD FOR YOUR OWN LIVING !

  22. Joshua St Michael says:

    Good and thought provoking article Henry Kachaje. Except you forgot to mention that in 2013 Israel received $3.115 billion total aid from the United States alone. It’s one of the reasons the choice of Israel isn’t so good, it’s called perspective or context.

  23. Chimwa mowa says:

    That is the contagious disease politicians in Malawi are suffering from. They fight hard for IMF as if its father Christmas as some quarters said. Always singing the same story, I found nothing in govt yet they have been there over two years but failed to create worth that if other come tomorrow will find. Lets stop this and work

  24. Patrick Phiri says:

    Well put.

  25. Sapitwa says:

    I concur with Zikatha.
    Our country’s leadership from Muluzi to APM has not been serious with developing the plight of Farmers. Is it difficult to revitalize ADMARC to become effective again through which and only which fresh produce farmers, legumes farmers etc can sell their produce to ADMARC? Is it difficult to improve and assist the local farmers cooperative societies to produce more crops for export through ADMARC?
    Is it really a challenge for our Government to breakthrough this?
    Iam so heart broken about how our leaders have plunged Malawi to this level.

  26. Saputwa says:

    I can’t agree more with The Analyst. I thought Kachaje should have liaised with Chilima who visited Israel to see for himself how they are doing it and ask him where we are with what he learned from there.Malawi can aspire to apply the Agricultural Technology from Israel but they can’t afford it. Catching rain water into water reservoirs require building many of those and will cost a fortune.
    The installation of the irrigation network will require millions of US$.
    Finally changing the mind set of 90% of Malawians from vandalism to respect of property, laziness to hardworking, stealing to getting paid for what they work for etc requires spending on resources to do this.
    It can take more than 15 years if we start now depending on our resources before we could start seeing progress.

  27. Tt says:

    And kachaje, we know you are a very religious homophobe too! What do you have to say given that Israel is a Jewish state, Jews totally refuse that Jesus is the sin of god and homosexuality is legal. Why should they do better than a country like malawi, which is doing “right” according to the Christian faith? Any excuses there? Why should god bless these infidels? Whats your explanation?

  28. Hamza Wotch says:

    Tamangodyani ma cashgate mukutisokosa ife!Dziko la Malawi mwalisambula anganya inu,I hate DPP government!they are useless

  29. Zikatha says:

    Malawi economy doesn’t fetch much from agricultural products because of the unregulated and flourishing informal export of agricultural produce by locals and foreigners. Agricultural produce is smuggled by Burundians with the help of Malawian officers on our roadblocks and through uncharted routes. Millions if not billions are lost. Malawian beans, peas, groundnuts and soy beans are a hot cake out there.

    The sad thing is that the government doesn’t get anything in return in form of taxes on exports and yet production of these crops by smallholder farmers is heavily subsidized by government. In essence we are indirectly subsidizing life of foreigners who are making quick fortunes out of this by buying the same for cheap from ignorant and desperate farmers. I feel sorry for myself and fellow Malawians.

    We lost the plot my suffocating ADMARC. Previously, all produce were exported through ADMARC and the government was getting the deserved forex revenue it needed from diverse crops not only tobacco. By subsidizing agriculture wholesomely as it is, the government was supposed to regulate trading of produce. In one way to avert hunger, and in the other way getting revenue for development and sustainability. But Alas! Nobody seems to care and I almost shed tears. The plight of farmers is an eyesore

  30. Petrol Gani says:

    A home where everyone wants to run away with something cannot develop. If all family members work towards a common goal by putting their efforts, resources and ideas together that family develops. In Malawi the riches entity is the public institution with a huge share of our resources (human, financial, natural, political, etc). But when you hear of civil services and politicians in Malawi what comes into your mind? Laziness, easy money, cashgate, negligency, fraud and criminality. How can a country develop with such kind of drivers. The rural villagers wait for handouts from FISP- one bag of fertilizer and 5kg of seed. Young people are in town looking for employment where they never get it. In learning Institutions everyone is looking forward to when to get his or her PhD, Masters and Degrees in thing they do not know where to use them in Malawi. The President and team seem have lost direction all together. You, economists I believe you have a story to tell one day. How can Malawi remain the poorest nation when all of you learned economists exist? No one will ever develop Malawi apart from Malawians themselves.

  31. Mr Chamwaka Nsokho Wakale says:

    The Analysis you are silly!!!! Israel has not ALWAYS been a developed and highly advanced nation. They started with Kibbutzs, communal agricultural settlements in deserts with little water and harsh enviroments, but with VISION and clearly set objectives and activities to meet those objectives e.g. to obtain food security, create jobs for its people, improve agriculture etc so the can sell more and gain income etc etc, they have built their country to what it is today. This is the message from Kachaje, if a country with baseline parameters a million worse than Malawi can make it, why not Malawi with all the endowments it has? You are typical of fools in this country always making excuses. Believe you me, I we give half of land to say the chines or Rwandans or Egyptians, after 5 years we will not believe its Malawi, it will have change for the better so much. We cursed with fools as leaders in this country. They can not set a simple objective and set out to achieve it. No ways!!!!!

    1. The Analyst says:

      Anybody cant be more silly than the one who refuses to engage their brain and see that Israel and Malawi are not compared in time and space.
      You keep refusing to broaden up your mind and realise that despite the environment you call “harsh”, the financial and whatever support that Israel and Malawi have thus far received from whoever is not comparable; yet the support that a child receives in the early stages of development has a profound effect on him/her in adulthood.
      Lets not be lazy with thinking.

  32. Zopanda nzeru Mr Kachaje can you compare Malawi with Israel?????? Dziko loti Mulungu Olenga zonse anawapatsa ndikulidalitsa??????

  33. Funzo says:

    Economic progress will only come when the rewards of employment outweigh the risks of the corrupt being caught.

  34. The so called APM advisor – you mean you can’t express yourself in English – we can not understand your trash ! who are your intended readers ?

  35. Bibo says:

    Anyone who feels not amused by Dr Kachaje’s observation is an agent of stagnation. If fact, Kachaje is talking more sense than Goodall Gondwe the finance minister. Gondwe has never been prudent on economic indicators and has his speeches on economic performance and projected outlook, given a bone of contention to many of us. The ageing finance minister has lost his mantle of reasoning. Malawi’s economy is not even a mixed bag of good and bad achievements, it just has been on a downward spiral from day one with less hope but more unaccounted promises.

    It’s disturbing that a whole head of state can dwell his expected achievements on contributions from tax payers overseas without looking backward to the trend with which Malawi has been living its lifespan and thereby suggesting a correction to that trend while getting out of a cave of “business as usual”. Looks like the antidote to the current regime failure is Cashgate, a rare excuse manufactured by occupants at the palaces of Kamuzu and Sanjika.

    Malawi is surviving by the thin thread at the moment because no groundwork was laid after the expiration of Dr Banda to change the way we approach modern issues of agriculture and industrial production, not forgetting tourism. The country has been locked into a cage of 40% budgetary support that it is hard to come out, why? As I said already, it seems no policy formulation to fully utilize lakes and rivers for irrigated crops has been created so far to transform agriculture into a fully-fledged commercial industry covering the majority of Malawians. There has been no improvement in electricity production to attract big businesses to create jobs and produce what would competitively bring huge proceeds to the country. Understandably, the lake could be another source of hydroelectricity-authorities should go to Michigan city in the USA and learn from Nipsco.

    There has been overreliance on tobacco for a long time to the extent that certain people wonder whether we have leaders in the land of the sunshine. Can you expect to get out of economic hardship with a meagre US $300 million export earning from the main cash crop? Just hear this, Zambia in 2014 exported non-copper products including livestock and organic foods just to the DRC in the amount of about $800 million dollars, and its trade with Zimbabwe stood at about US$2 billion and yet its population is less than that of Malawi. This means that Zambia is way ahead of Malawi in agricultural production and Malawi has no excuse about it. Yes, Malawi has an excuse on mining because it started long time ago in Zambia but as regards agriculture, Malawi has had an advantage because the country has plenty bodies of fresh water plus it emphasized on agriculture since independence. It is about policy,priorities,and governance.Malawian leaders think on short-term, that’s why they have been carrying the begging bowl to the west ever since independence. They get confused once western leaders sneeze. In short,they have no direction.

    The accusations by APM on JB regarding Cashgate and his continued reference to the subject speaks of a leader who lost direction from the day he was sworn in. He seems to try to please the westerners by giving himself an excuse that makes him an innocent sufferer in silence. He is wasting time on thinking that the west will hear and respond positively to his plea instead of thinking about being the first pioneer of a diversified Malawian economy , an economy that produces plenty food, machinery, cash crops, computers, tractors, jewelry, tyres, steel, yachts, televisions,automobiles, and an economy that will attract vacationers from abroad to its wildlife,beaches, and lake cruise ships.Westerners will never develop Malawi even if they give the country more than a billion dollar every year. Malawians will develop Malawi under the wise leadership that plans, consults, and implements policies on longterm.There must be a new blueprint of development for agriculture, industrialization, tourism, transportation, mining, cities, and towns.

    Credit however, ought to be given to the APM administration for attracting more players in the energy sector because that’s the backbone of industrialization. I suggest the leadership should target 15,000 megawatts of electricity by 2025 in oder for the country to be the most conducive in putting up a major factory or attracting big industries. Government should also envision creating national companies in the agricultural sector, mining sector, and oil sector while letting experienced industrialists man them -this is the Indonesia and China style.By creating partly privately managed companies and regulating imported goods, the country will have a step forward in indigenous productivity thereby producing competitive local products for export, and this will accelerate growth. It is time Malawi has to look forward and not backwards. By heavily depending on donors, the country has looked backwards for a long time. I think lessons should be learned from Indonesia, Israel, Singapore, South Korea,Taiwan, China,and Chile. In fact, the country can learn a success story on state-owned enterprises from Indonesia which has recently been classified a newly industrialized country.

  36. wakalekale says:

    I think what Malawi can do now is this,call a meeting for all economists in Malawi and hear their views.I believe solutions to our economy is with us malawians.irest ma case

  37. max nsani says:

    Mzee, that’s the tragedy of our situation am afraid. The solutions are not so complex nor does it need genius ideas from economists. ..it’s very simple. All we need is for leaders to stop stealing and living like Kings. Buying mobile toilets when hospitals have nothing is the kind of stupidity that is keeping us like this forever. we need leaders who will roll up their sleeves and be real servants of the people, stop thinking of allowances and their pockets and get this country moving again. Blaming kachaje will not make things better. what kind of leadership wants to be told what to do all the time? that’s what you get when you enter into government without a plan.you keep crying for people to give you ideas….and when they do you bitch about not giving suggestions.

  38. Zasintha says:

    I am pains to pick any proposed solutions to our myriad economic woes from those who r rubbishing Kachaje’s comparisons with Israel. Surely Israel did not start as a technically advanced nation in 1948 nor can we with pride point ´to much that donor aid over the years since independence.

    I think we need to seriously reflect on Kachaje is saying not because he offer firesure solutions to our problems but because we lose nothing in giving what he says some thought.

    I would like to think that Malawi would go a long way if we started to implement the many development blue prints and not continue creating execuses for our failures.

  39. scumbagofthava says:

    I quote “It helps do do a PhD after MSC” and what’s your solution to this mediocrity services from capital hill. Hasn’t he got PhD in law?
    What did he achieve when he’s a minister of education. Everything was stagnant as they are currently.
    At least Kandoje has voiced his opinion based on what malawi as a country can channel its strength and realise its long term goals economically. Having PhD is not everything there’s. We can do better!

  40. Domingo says:

    Comparing Malawi with Israel is far too much as Israel is a super power and a country blessed by the Almighty Himself. A good comparison could be Rwanda a country ravaged by genocide not too long ago and very small but is now far ahead of us in everything , now even ndi mpira omwe. Our problem is mainly because we elect presidents based on tribal lines. Honestly can you compare clueless Moya P ndi OCHAKWERA?

  41. Stevenson makungwa says:

    What are we offering as solutions? Tingokangana tokhatokha instead of discussing what Malawi should do. Typical of Malawians. I support Mr Kachaje. Malawi’s economy is agro-based. We should move away from subsistence agriculture. Commercial farming will lead to food security and the surplus can be sold locally or processed and exported. We have the Malawi National Export Strategy which is just gathering dust. What a waste of knowledge. People spent their time and taxpayers money to come up with this comprehensive strategy but what are we doing with it? Nothing. Some of us are even not aware about the existence of this strategy. Google and appreciate it.

  42. 2016 welcome says:

    @4 your arguments are in fact in support of what Kachaje is saying. You make me think Israel as a country was born centuries earlier than Malawi to explain why she is a head of us on development index. But my understanding is that all countries were created at the same time perhaps only founded differently. Why do you seem to justify mediocrity? If I may ask you, what makes Malawi not attain the exotic qualities Israel have? My simple answer is lack of focus particularly on the part of leadership and that is the central theme in Kachaje’s points. Just imagine, one of the breaking news where we hear that Malawi government paid over MK295 million to a media house to cook up stories in order to spruce the image of the country all to woo investors. Is that prudent use of resources? That’s the problem we have had as a country. We lack focus and without mincing words, we are so dull compounded with greedy and corrupt minds.. I mean who doesn’t know that the most effective tool to woo investors is a stable economy. Why can’t we use that money to support efforts so that we have a functioning ESCOM? because those are factors investors look into in the first place.

  43. mphevu says:

    The biggest difference between Malawi and Israel is the people. Malawians whether educated or uneducated are full of ego and greed. They have a childish desire to shine over others. They waste money on things that are not conducive to development. They would go on vacation abroad instead of using the money to create a factory to produce things made abroad.

  44. kukhala says:

    I AGREE WITH KACHAJE MALAWI HAS MORE NATURAL RESOURCES TO DO BETTER THAN THE JEWISH STATE. AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTS THEREFROM CAN MAKE MALAWI CHANGE ITS ECONOMY AND BE THE BETTER THAN MANY COUNTRIES ON EARTH. OIL BUSINESS SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED SINCE OIL HAS REACHED MATURITY STAGE WITH PLENTY ALTERNATIVES WHICH HAVE MORE PREFERENCES THAN OIL. I DOUBT IF OIL WILL EVER REGAIN ITS PRICES TO OVER $50-00 PER BARREL BUT SHALL CONTINUE FALLING UNTIL SOON WE FORGET IT.

    TOBACCO SHOULD BE REPLACED BY OTHER CROPS WHICH CAN BE LOCALLY PROCESSED AND THEREAFTER EXPORTED. EXAMPLES ARE TOMATO WHICH CAN PROCESSED INTO SAUCE OR PASTE .

  45. ngongoliwa says:

    I don’t take kachaje seriously, today he says this, tomorrow after quizzed, he says I DIDN’T SAY SUCH N SUCH. HE’S NOT STABLE MIND LIKE THE MSONDAS OF THIS WORLD

  46. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    Yes you heard me right and its a wonder that despite realising the weakness of your argument, you went on to publish your inane idea. Sadly this is not the first time you are seen comparing Malawi and Israel. This glaring and striking strict narrowness of mind is not only strange but also regrettable.

    You need to stop this lie you keep telling us over and over again until we forget that its a lie. Thus, lend me your ear as I help you understand the country you erroneously compare Malawi with.

    . . . Israel is a technologically advanced market economy ranked 18th on the Human Development Index and placed in the category of “very highly developed” ahead of France, Austria and Belgium e.t.c. It is the second most deadly drone power in the world from the U.S.
    . . . The country’s major industries include high-tech, metal, electronic, biomedical, chemical, pharmaceutical products and transport equipment.
    . . . Israels diamond industry is one of the world’s leading centres. And just recently, Israel has discovered large natural gas fields off its coast, coupled with its leading role in solar energy industry. Not forgetting the drones industry.
    . . . As if this is not enough, numerous Israeli companies have been acquired by global corporations. Also, American business magnates Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Donald Trump and Mexican magnate Carlos Slim have each invested heavily in Israel’s real estate and high tech.
    . . .To-date, Israel has received $130bn in aid and & $100bn military aid from the U.S.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Are you sure that you can compare Malawi with such a country? On what grounds? Agriculture? But Israel does not depend on agriculture for its survival. Can you see now how irrelevant and inane your comparison is? It helps do do a PhD after MSc.

    Let us not continue to make common mistakes when we ourselves are not deemed common. Trust me, when I “misthink” its just me; but if you “misthink” it is the ECAMA that suffers also. Please preserve its image and think well, especially in public.
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

    1. Zikatha says:

      Perhaps you seem to have a personal vendetta with Mr Kachaje such that you fail to grab wisdom or the little sense he is trying to put across. The case with Israel is that she overcame food production challenges despite her resource deficiency geographically agriculture wise to the point of exporting and earning much more revenue from the same than Malawi (a country sitting on vast fresh water resource and arable land).

      He would have chosen to compare with another country doing equally well but Israel is more depraved of natural resources enabling agricultural activity than most. You should bear in mind that Israel is able to venture into more challenging and advanced investments because there is less or no worries with in regards to feeding her people.

      Now help answer the question why is Malawi perennially food insecure with all these blessings than other challenged countries like Israel? Already Malawians have started screaming with the presumably erratic rains this year. Instead of fetching other means to produce enough for the country with the impending drought, your president led the nation in praying for the rains. Not that it’s a bad idea. It helps to be religious. But you have to put that faith in line with action. Let’s irrigate Malawi. It’s the only way and the government ought to lead in this. Concentrate mass food production in those areas we can irrigate with ease. El Nino was well forecast some time back and it should be no surprise at all.

      It’s not a question of who is wise, but how do we brainstorm and help change the mindset and move out of the stagnation we are in as a country. Rwanda has done it, Tanzania is following, let’s get started!!!

      1. The Analyst says:

        No personal vendetta with Kachaje. Its just that he likes using this wrong comparison and no one seems to tell him the truth that an argument that follows from a wrong premise is weak.
        Everything about Israel is just as right as is everything about Malawi is wrong. Even without doing anything, Israel can survive from tourism with people going there just to see Jerusalem, or Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
        Am sure that with the truth he has been told now, he wont make that mistake again. Observe!

        1. Zikatha says:

          But it’s clear you are more inclined in attacking Kachaje than contributing on the subject matter. Your mention of doing a PhD after and MSc says it all. But what’s the relevance?

          Well, people go to go to visit Israel to see Jerusalem, etc. Fine. Same people can visit Malawi for something else. But the comparison here is on agricultural production and revenue from the same alone. Let’s compare that and see what factors are contributing to the difference between the two countries in agriculture.

          To be honest I salute your opinion on many subject matters on this forum, but on this one I see the lack of objectivity and I see you are bought into the spirit of going by with excuses

          1. The Analyst says:

            Well . . .
            I see . . .

  47. Mzee says:

    The problem with people like kachaje is that they dont offer solutions to our problems. Yes israeli, singapore etc dont have adequate water yet they are rich. Wht should Malawi do to progress. What Kachaje has said is common knowledge. Malawi wants is a person who is going to offer practical solutions and not long and useless examples of countries that are doing well. Why for example is our private sector so moribund? The country is bereft of creativity and innovation. Why? We have too many bogus gurus who theorise but cant offer solutions. What do you expect from Goodall Gondwe ladies and gentlemen? Fresh energetic and agile leaders is what Malawi needs.

  48. Patriot says:

    Unfortunetly the 70+ stuborn lomwe leader is deaf. He listens to nobody, but KEEPS ON STICKING TO JB THIS, JB THAT. We can not progress with this kind of mentallity.

  49. Ha ha ha moving in cycle of mediocrity.
    Poti olo a president akalamwitsa zinthu tkawatengetsa
    akumati Kamuzu ankapanga zomwezo. Ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!

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