JB, World Bank director hold talks on Malawi economy

Malawian President Joyce Banda on Thursday, June 20, 2013, held talks with Dr. Denny Kalyalya, an Executive Director who represents the Malawi Government on the Executive Board of Directors of the World Bank Group.

During the talks at Kamuzu Palace, Lilongwe, President Banda and Kalyalya exchanged views on the status of the partnership between the World Bank and Malawi.

Kalyalya was accompanied by Dr. Wilson Banda, a Malawian national who is his Senior Advisor while President was accompanied by Ralph Jooma, Minister of Economic Planning and Development; Ben Botolo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development. Others were Peter Simbani, Director of Debt and Aid in the Ministry of Finance and Yona Kamphale, Director in the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning.

During the meeting, President Banda thanked the World Bank for continuing to support various Malawi Government projects under the USD861million IDA 16 Programme.

Dr. Kalyalya and Dr. Joyce Banda in discussion
Dr. Kalyalya and Dr. Joyce Banda in discussion

The Head of State took the opportunity to request the World Bank that when the Board meets in July to discuss the possibility of funding the IDA 17, the US$200 million Sena Corridor Project, the Shire Valley Irrigation Project and MASAF IV should be among the main priority projects for funding consideration.

The President noted that the Sena Corridor is an integral component of her Government’s economic recovery and development efforts as it would tremendously reduce the costs of transportation of imports and exports.

On the Shire Valley Irrigation Project, the President noted that once implemented, the project would enhance irrigation farming and contribute significantly to the attainment of food sufficiency at both household and national levels.

On MASAF IV, the President requested the World Bank to consider factoring in provision of allowances for members of the community involved in public works under the project so that they earn some income for their households.

The ED thanked the President for the “interaction” as they were able to consult Her Excellency the President on recent economic developments, priority projects and challenges facing Malawi so that he can ably represent the interests of Her Excellency’s Government on the World Bank Board of Directors.

He was glad that World Bank funded projects “were doing well” but that there was room for improvement, particularly on the speed of implementation. He also observed that Her Excellency’s Government economic policies were bearing fruits as evidenced by Growth, which is positive and that the Exchange Rate was showing signs of stability.

He, however, said Malawi faces the challenge of the coming elections, which he said would put pressure of the National Budget and the Government but urged on Government to stay the course of the economic reforms, nonetheless.

The Executive Director is a Zambian National who is represents what is called the Africa 1 Constituency, mainly comprising of Anglo-Phone Africa Countries which include Malawi, Zambia, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Gambia, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

The Board of the Executive Directors is responsible for policy decisions affecting the World Bank Group operations and for approval of the loans.

The World Bank Executive Board has 24 representatives including Kalyalya. This is the first visit of the Dr. Kalyalya, since he assumed the office as Executive Director, representing Malawi on the Board.

He also held a roundtable discussion with Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Agriculture and Food Security, Education, Science and Technology, Water Development and Irrigation and Energy.

Dr. Kalyalya, right, and Dr. Wilson Phiri at Kamuzu Palace on Thursday
Dr. Kalyalya, right, and Dr. WilsonBanda at Kamuzu Palace on Thursday
Ralph Jooma, Economic Planning and Development Minister at the meeting on Thiursday
Ralph Jooma, Economic Planning and Development Minister at the meeting on Thiursday

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