Gwengwe asked to implement mitigating risk factors to curb financial losses through corruption
South Africa-based seasoned economist, Chifipa Mhango — who is the Chief Economist for Don Consultancy Group — contends that “if wasteful expenditure on unnecessary [government officials’] travels, dubious allowances and corruption is reduced then there will enough towards investment expenditure”.
Mhango made the observation when asked his views on what Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, Sosten Gwengwe said when he called for dialogue and interaction among different stakeholders, including the academia, politicians and the civil society to spur the country’s digitalisation drive.
Gwengwe made the call at the Malawi University of Business & Applied Sciences (MUBAS) while delivering a public lecture entitled ‘Leveraging on Digitalisation to Boost Domestic Budget Revenue’.
He further said the country experiences resource constraints that undermine the country’s capacity to implement budget lines and development.
“Some economists have in the past faulted the government for spending on consumption at the expense of development and investment,” he said.
“But how can the government invest when the funds we have can only cover consumption.
“We have non-negotiable obligations, such as wages and salaries, voluntary pension contributions and interest payments on public debt. The government usually has limited [fiscal space] to invest in other areas.”
Thus Mhango, who has always offered solutions to the economic quagmire the country is facing, contends that “there are a lot of examples of cases of corruption that have been well published as a good example of how resources are wasted in Malawi”.
“Therefore, the Honourable Minister will need to look at establishing mechanism to mitigate the risks identified in how the financial resources of the country are lost through corruption.
“The problem in Malawi is that even if the revenue is improved, the arm of corruption also grows longer.”
Mhango, who holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in economics, accounting and statistics from the University of Malawi and a Master of Commerce degree in economics and econometrics from the University of Stellenbosch — always maintains that he remains committed to his country when he offers economic recovery solutions in seeking long-term solutions for beloved Malawi.
Thus when called upon to support media channels coverage for the upcoming Malawi Investment Forum which Malawi Mission in South Africa are set to host in its host country on May 24-25, Mhango accepted the responsibility.
He said: “The Malawi Investment Forum is the path in the right direction and fully endorses the initiative by the Malawi Government. Trade and investment are a key component for driving economic growth and prosperity to which Malawi should take advantage of.
“Malawi is a country that is well endowed with beautiful unexploited landscapes along the Lake Malawi shores, vast fertile arable land, rivers and lakes to support irrigation farming, newly discovered vast mineral resources and above all, political stability.”
The Malawi Investment Forum is towards the Malawi Government’s efforts to embark on a journey towards a number of economic recovery strategies, which are also incorporated in the MW2063 development blueprint
In a statement from Titha Mbilizi, the Vice-Consul-Corporate Affairs & Administration at the Malawi Consulate General, says most economies have faced a dent on economic progress due to the CoVID-19 lockdown measures implemented globally, and Malawi’s economy was not spared.
“Key to this is to drive trade and investment,” she said in the statement of the event to be held at The Emperors Palace, Kempton Park in Johannesburg — under the theme ‘A Prosperous Malawi Through Strategic Investment Partnerships’.
This is the first time Malawi has provided such a platform for potential investors in South Africa and beyond aimed at engaging with high ranking government officials from key Ministries, Departments & Agencies, state-owned enterprises as well as private sector partners.
“The Malawi Investment Forum aims at giving potential investors, financiers, and business captains an opportunity to engage and explore investment opportunities available in Malawi.
“The Forum will showcase bankable projects in the following identified key sectors: energy, tourism, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and infrastructure. Opportunities in the health, education, financial and ICT sectors will also be highlighted.”
The Forum is expected to have three main activities: a conference, B2B meetings, and exhibitions, whose participation is free for invited delegates to learn about the Malawi’s bankable investment projects and network with over 300 delegates.
To register participants are encouraged to visit: https://rsvp.myplanner.co.za/