Economists Association of Malawi (ECAMA) Patron, Thomson Mpinganjira has outlined a number of measures through which government and the private sector could transform the country’s ailing economy.
He said much as the current Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) was a timely intervention to bring back the country’s economy on track, there was need to deploy other strategies that would support the initiative.
Mpingamjira who is also Chief Executive Officer for FDH Financial Holdings was speaking on Thursday at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi before President Joyce Banda opened this year’s ECAMA annual conference.
He observed that there was so much literature on tourism as one of the sector with potential to support the economy but that what remained was to walk the talk.
The ECAMA patron suggested the introduction of the electronic visa system and point of entry exchange control barriers to enhance the tourism sector.
“We also need to have a complete refurbishment of the tourism infrastructure because Chileka Terminal for example is obsolete and the environment is not attractive to tourists,” he advised.
On civil service, Mpinganjira appealed to government to undertake a strategic review of the civil service in a bid to restore people’s confidence in the sector whose image had been battered through work attitude and high vacancy rate.
Mpinganjira also said there was need to create an environment that would foster foreign and direct investment, alleging that Malawi had failed to grab investment opportunities because key sectors like trade, immigration and lands were working in isolation.
He advised the leadership to stay on course and not to abandon the reforms, noting that the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) was being implemented at a very crucial time when government would face the electorate in 2014.
“It becomes more difficult when the leadership is facing the electorate in 2014,” he said adding, “If you get economics right, you also get politics right.”
Mpinganjira said it was pleasing that President Banda was ready to sacrifice her political career at the expense of getting the economy on its right footing.
ECAMA was established in February 1999 and is a grouping of professional economists who provide support and guidance to government on various socio – economic policies.
The conference has attracted 100 delegates and its theme is: ‘discovering pillars of sustainable economic growth for Malawi.’
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