The Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA) has said it will take up to 24 years or more for Malawi to become a lower middle-income economy.
The country’s president launched the first ten-year implementation plan of the Malawi 2063 in November this year. The plan seeks to take Malawi to 2030 where it wishes to become a lower middle-income economy. It is assumed that the economy will be growing at an average of 6% per annum.
But ECAMA through its Executive Director, Frank Chikuta, thinks at the rate the Malawi economy is growing, it will need up to 24 years to see the vision of becoming a lower middle-income economy realised.
Chikuta was speaking in Lilongwe on Monday during a pre-budget consultation meeting chaired by Finance Minister, Felix Mlusu.
“If we continue growing at the rate of 3% or so, it might take us 24 years or more to double our national income. At the level our national income is now, for us to reach the lower middle-income status by 2030, we need it to be doubled. And for it to be doubled, we need to grow at a higher rate than the 3% that we are growing at, at the moment,” explained Chikuta.
Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu, said government has put in place a number of strategies to ensure that the economy can be growing by over 6% per annum.
“Last week, the President launched the National Export Strategy and that strategy entails that we should produce more and manufacture more locally so that we can be exporting our products outside with much higher value.
“We need to create more exports for us to be able to have foreign reserves and for us to be able to pay our foreign creditors,” explained Mlusu.
In 2009 Malawi’s economy registered strong growth when it grew by 9.2%. That year, it was named the second fastest growing economy after Qatar.
The economy has over the years been affected by factors such as cyclones, droughts, foul army worms and the Covid-19 pandemic.