President Lazarus Chakwera has given a strong indictment to foreign financial institutions – such as Bretton Woods institutions International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank – that their programmes have had any significant progress to alleviate poverty, in African countries at least, and in Sub-Saharan Africa more particularly: home to the largest portion on the world’s bottom million in extreme poverty.
Chakwera gave a subtal attack to the foreign financial institutions on Monday when he joined other African leaders in celebrating the life and legacy of former Tanzania President John Pombwe Magufuli who died of heart complications last Wednesday.
The Malawi leader said: “When they said laziness and sloth in public service cannot be cured, they did not see Magufuli coming. When they said the cartels of corruption strangling Africa’s governments cannot be defeated, they did not see Magufuli coming.
“When they said African States cannot become middle-income economies within a single presidential term [of five years], they did not see Magufuli coming.”
Chakwera applauded the late Tanzanian president for pursuing a development agenda which was not based on what he called “failed prescriptions of foreign financial institutions that have left Africa more impoverished and in debt”.
The Malawi leader did not mention in names any of the foreign financial institutions.
However, the conditions the IMF imposes on countries it lends money to have sometimes been described as “harsh”.
In the past, these have included lower government borrowing, cutting corporate taxes and opening up their economies to foreign investment.
Besides Chakwera, the other leaders present included Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana), Felix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Azali Assoumani (Comoros).
Each of the leaders present was accorded an opportunity to deliver a eulogy to Magufuli.