Despite President Peter Mutharika projecting favourable economic data, a local newspaper columnist says the fact remains that Malawi has been reduced to the poorest country in the world by GDP per capita measure.
Prominent columnist ‘Backbencher’ in Weekend Nation observed that Malawi’s human development index is also among the lowest.
“On the other hand, corruption is rampant with no clear anti-graft policy and nearly half the population of 17 million is food insecure. In addition, for the first time ever, we’ve been subjected to a 25-hour electricity load shedding programme and yet nothing being done to contain deforestation, the root cause of our woes,” the columnist wrote.
Mutharika said the economy would continue growing in 2018.
“In 2018, I will ensure that our economy grows more to benefit more people because that is what inclusive development is about,” Mutharika said.
But UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) says it expects growth in the local economy to slow down in 2018.
According to Nico Asset Managers December Economic Brief released on Monday EIU projects the economy will slow down by 0.3 percentage points in 2018.
“This downward revision emanates from the likely reduction in maize output this season, expected slow growth in tobacco production, and the industrial sector, which is unlikely to emerge as the key driver of growth due to stiff competition on the international market,” the briefing said.
The World Bank has predicted the local economy to grow by 4.5 percent in 2018 from 4.4 percent in 2017 while the International Monetary Fund has predicted a five percent Gross Domestic Product growth in 2018 from 4.5 percent in 2017.
The country is expected to go for the second tripartite elections in May next year in what is expected to be a two-man battle between President Peter Mutharika, the DPP leader, and MCP president Lazarus Chakwera , who is also leader of opposition in Parliament.
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