Malawians to see sharp improvement of economy in 6 months – JB

President Joyce Banda has assured that that her reform agenda will start bearing fruits and that Malawians would see a sharp improvement in the economy within the next six months .

President Banda said  the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which her administration launched last September  with  a set of immediate, short and medium term policy reforms aimed at restoring the external and internal economic stability, is on course.

“Malawians must realize and must be satisfied that we are serious with the economic recovery plan that we drew, and that there are signs that we are recovering,” said President Banda on Voice of America radio in an interview monitored by Nyasa Times on Tuesday.

Her comments comes after Minister of Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe told a local daily that  government expects the inflation rate, currently at 33.3 percent as of November 2012, to come down in the first quarter of 2013.

President Banda:Malawians must look forward toward a better future
President Banda:Malawians must look forward toward a better future

President Banda  expressed confidence that policies her administration has implemented, including the Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction, will address economic challenges Malawians face.

“I went to the World Bank and asked them to provide resources in order for us to implement public works programs, cash transfer programs, school feeding programs, to ensure that we take care of the shock of the devaluation of the Kwacha [local currency], because we knew that the rural masses would go through a hard time because of the [currency] devaluation,” she told VOA.

President Banda pointed out that she inherited a bad economy from controversial president late Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office April 2012.

“This was a country that for me was literally bankrupt, an economy that has been destroyed through mismanagement and corruption,” said President Banda.

“Within the first 100 days of my stay in office the situation changed,” she continued. “The letter was received from the IMF, the Kwacha was devalued, [and] the donors were back. Our relationship with our neighbors had improved.”

President Banda said her administration will continue to work hard to raise the standard of living for Malawians.

“Malawians must look forward toward a better future,” she told VOA.

“I am also concentrating on improving our World Bank ranking as the destination for doing business,” she added.

“So Malawians should know that once our ranking improves, it will attract investment and when investment comes, we will create jobs. Six months from now, Malawians would realize that we are on a road to a complete [economic] recovery.”

She outlined her vision for Malawi, which she said is to improve the lives of Malawians by saving the troubled economy and creating good paying jobs.

“My vision is a Malawi where men and women live in peace and in harmony as equals enjoying their human rights. My dream is for Malawi to be poverty free, and I intend to eradicate poverty, through economic growth and wealth creation,” said Banda fondly called JB by her supporters.

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