Thursday, July 18, 2024

Malawi economy on recovery path says Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola-Banda

Minister of Finance Chithyola

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola-Banda has expressed the government’s dedication to facilitating a complete recovery of the economy from the challenges faced in 2022 and 2023.

Addressing the audience on Wednesday at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, Chithyola-Banda highlighted the current global economic instability marked by various shocks such as the impact of Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, adverse weather conditions, and the escalating costs of living.

“Malawi has not been spared and as a country we have to stand on our feet to defeat all these shocks. The economy performed better in 2023 with an estimated Gross Domestic Product [GDP] growth of 1.5 percent as compared to a growth of 0.9 percent registered in 2022.

“Moving forward we expect a gradual economic recovery with a growth of 3.2 percent in 2024 on account of the improvements in the availability of foreign exchange and investments made in the agriculture sector. On price developments I acknowledge the continued upward trajectory of prices experienced in 2023, with the end period and annual average inflation rates estimated at 35.7 and 29 percent respectively,” Chithyola-Banda said.

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) Economist, Lucius Pawa, said there is need to have policy consistency because some measures such as banning of scrap metal export undermines growth of the economy.

“The budget remains an important tool in fostering economic prosperity and eradicating poverty especially in times like these when the economy is experiencing various economic challenges. We need to take bold steps to promote trade and not aid because promotion of trade is multifaceted, “ he said.

In its contribution Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) said it will continue lobbying for establishment of a National Health Fund to be financed through carbon tax, top-up contributions on vehicles COF and driver’s license and part of gate revenue at toll-gates.


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