Malawians are increasingly pessimistic about their country’s future with a fragile economy but Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe has drawn up plans for “resurrecting” the country’s economy, which he admitted is ailing.
The Finance Minister said Malawi is “passing through difficult times,” which means that even people below [the poverty line] are even more affected.
Gondwe is upbeat that when all measures to recover the economy are taken, by next year Malawians will “clap hands “for the Peter Mutharika led government.
“We have taken bold steps to jump-start the economy and I am certain that next year you will be clapping hands to government,” said Gondwe during the signing ceremony at Capital Hilll in Lilongwe of a financial agreement worth $75 million (about K40.5 billion) between Malawi Government and the World Bank towards Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf 4) .
He said the Masaf 4 cash injection from World Bank would help ease current economic woes.
According to Gondwe, Masaf intends to strengthen Malawi’s social safety net delivery systems and coordination across programmes.
The project, which is aptly called Strengthening Safety Net Systems by the World Bank, seeks to help reduce poverty levels of about five million poor Malawians by providing work opportunities, cash transfers and grants to raise household incomes.
Through the project, government will focus on investments such as livelihood and skills development interventions and social cash transfers, said Gondwe
He described the project “ very important” in Malawi which has a positive impact on many ordinary people, citing school blocks, teachers’ houses, bridges and roads, health centres, irrigation infrastructures, boreholes and afforestation as some of the projects that have been implemented with support of the Masaf project.
Gondwe said other measures to recover the economy include halting the sharp depreciation of the kwacha against major trading currencies through the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) .
According to local press reports, Malawi’s headline inflation now stands at 22.2 percent in July from 21.3 percent in June and 19.5 percent in May, triggered by rising food prices on account of a weak currency and the deficit in the staple food, maize which has a weight of 50.2 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)—a basket used by government statisticians to compute inflation figures.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :