World Bank tips Malawi government on financial reforms: ‘Stop donor dependency’

World Bank has called upon government to pump more resources into its business and financial reforms unlike relying on support from donors.

Mwanamvekha: We will consider using other means

World Bank Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice Manager, Catherine Masinde made the call on Wednesday in Blantyre during a Doing Business Forum held at Hotel Victoria noting that Malawi has good policies that are not working because of monetary issues.

“One of the issues in Malawi is that of having very good policies but not going ahead to implement them because a budget has not been made available. My plea to the government is to pick a few reforms that are doable and provide resources though your budget not depending on donor funding solely because this way the reforms will be owned and embedded in your own institutionalisation process,” she said.

Masinde said although there are strides that have been made in the business industry, there is still more that needs to be done in the country.

“We are very pleased by the move from position 144 to 133 in the Ease of Doing Business index but this is not good enough. Malawi as a landlocked country needs to do more to improve its business environment in order to attract investors by finding ways to ease the process of getting in and out of the country,” she said.

Masinde underscored the need to start publicising reforms made so far saying there is need for a lot more to be communicated to the private sector and public at large as regards to what has been achieved.

“The drafted gazette on new rules and regulations, based on the new acts, needs to go out systematically so that investors get these messages. Additionally, coordination of messages is critical. The private sector should avoid giving conflicting messages to government as it confuses it on what they want resulting to government implementing something which you will later complain about,” she said pointed out.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Joseph Mwanamvekha promised to explore other modes of relaying messages about the reforms made to all people across the country in addition to the trade portal.

“The World Bank has promised to help us on this issue and we will consider using other means on top of the trade portal like reaching out to people through radios and televisions. We will make sure that we reach out to those that do not have access to internet and computers with the messages on what we have done and what we are doing in the industry,” he said.

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