Britain tells Malawi to stop relying on aid

Britain has sent a clear message to Malawi that the developing southern African nation  needs to stop relying on aid,  saying the country should be migrating from the current aid dependency to trade.

Almost half  of this year’s national budget for Malawi will be financed by donor countries, including Britain.

Speaking on the sidelines of Extra-Ordinary General Assembly for the Youths in Lilongwe on Friday, High Commissioner Micheal Nevin said London remains committed to support Lilongwe but the country should see Britain as grandmother not a mother.

“There is a need for psychological change on dependency syndrome, we have a special relationship with Malawi and we will continue to support Malawi developmental programs,” said Nevin.

British High Commissioner Nevin: Stop relying on donors
British High Commissioner Nevin: Stop relying on donors

Nevin said as Malawi  will be  clocking 50 years of Independence  from British rule, there is a need to start doings in different way by improving economic governance.

“Malawi needs complete different module on how to govern its economy and must invest in the youth sector. We know that the youths have potential to contribute to economic development of the country but since Independence the youths have been left out in developmental activities,” he added.

Britain is Malawi’s major donor where they are contributing over 40 percent to the country’s national budget.

Last year British Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham  told President Joyce Banda that  his country would help Malawi migrate from the current aid dependency to trade.

Bellingham, who is Parliamentary Under Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said London  would like trade between Malawi and United Kingdom doubling in three years, from the present £60 million (K26.9 billion) to £120 million (K54 billion) per annum.

“Currently our two way trade is worth £58.5 million per annum and the balance of trade is in Malawi’s favour. My ambition is to see that figure doubled, with Malawi gaining more through trade than aid,” he said.

Bellingham said his country wants to see British companies investing in Malawi,training people and transferring skills, expertise and technology.

He stressed on the need for the Malawi Government to continue adhering to the rule of law and good governance.

International Monitory Fund (IMF) also advised Malawi not to rely on donors in finding long term solutions to address its current economic challenges.

IMF Mission Chief Tsidi Tsikata is on record saying, there was a need for the country to find long term solution to its economic challenges and not relying on donors who have their own challenges, which need to be addressed as well.

And Malawi’s renowned economist professor Mathews Chikaonda recently also asked government authorities to put up strong measures that wound see Malawi move away from donor dependence for its economic growth.

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