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Economists discuss population growth

GWENHAMO—Malawi needs to diversify

HONG—The problem is failure to implement plans

The country’s top economists started meeting in Mangochi District Thursday to discuss matters affecting economic development including challenges and opportunities of population growth.

Delegates to the two-day indaba agreed that the population remains a major challenge to economic development in the country.

The economists are analysing economy in correlation with population growth at the meeting is organised by Economics Association of Malawi under the theme ‘Population Growth Challenges and Opportunities for Economic Development in Malawi’.

Making a keynote address, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Resident Representative, Young Hong, emphasised the need for Malawi to address demographic structure as well as diversify the economy.

“We focus on the number most of the times, but the very much relevant issue in terms of economic growth is the quality of the population.

“The problem is tendency of having good policies or strategic vision but not implementing them,” Hong Said.

In her presentation, International Monetary Fund Resident Representative, Farayi Gwenhamo, urged the country to ensure resilience to climate shocks, enhance fiscal consolidation and counter debt vulnerabilities.

“For Malawi, climate change vulnerabilities are quite significant because of concentration of the population in the agricultural sector and what should be done is diversifying from agriculture into other sectors,” Gwenhamo said.

Ecama president, Chikumbutso Kalilombe, said was impressed with how the conference started.

The recent 2018 Population and Housing Census indicates that the country’s population stands at 17.5 million.

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