May 18, 2021

Chakwera says Malawi’s 2021 Economic Outlook remains Positive

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera says Malawi’s economic outlook for 2021 remains positive with a GDP growth rate of 3.8 percent although headline inflation recorded an uptick to 8.3 percent last months which is consistent with the nature of the transition on the country is in.

President Dr. Chakwera assured Malawians that the depreciation pressures Malawi has experienced over the past 8 months are temporary, saying this is because Government expect the supply of foreign exchange in this country to soon be bolstered by the commencement of the agriculture marketing season for Malawi export crops, including tobacco and soya beans.

He said his Administration will be implementing policies to ensure that there is money in people’s pockets in compliance with the Tonse philosophy of shared prosperity, directing all Ministries, Departments and Agencies [MDAs] to buy supplies from local Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs] including those owned by marginalized groups.

Speaking in his National Address on governance policies on Sunday evening in Lilongwe, President Dr. Chakwera said while comprehensive review of allowance systems, employment contracts and procurement is underway, is eager to stop the culture of greed that has dominated government’s procurement system for decades.

President Dr. Chakwera directed all heads of MDAs to cooperate with his Administration in finding ways of ensuring that no supplier of goods and services is allowed to hide behind multiple companies to monopolize procurement opportunities and to give preference to the procurement of locally made goods citing local arts in places like Ndirande in Blantyre, Mchesi in Lilongwe and Katoto in Mzuzu.

He directed MDAs to prioritize procuring uniforms and shoes for Army and Police officers locally where they are available finding no justification for importing things like these ones from outside the country, urging government institutions like the MBS and SMEDI to help build the capacity of those within the supply locally made goods and services to government so as to meet the required quality and quantity specifications.

…”I urge the office of the Registrar of Companies to assist the prospective suppliers of goods and services from the informal sector with speedy registration of their enterprises and also the MRA to expedite their inclusion in the tax database…,’’ said Dr. Chakwera.

He reminded Malawians that as a nation, they are still under the state of national disaster declared 75 days ago, saying the regulations enacted for stopping the spread of Covid-19 remain in force including washing of hands, the wearing of masks and the maintaining of social distances , appealing for compliance with these regulations.

By Vincent Gunde

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