President Peter Mutharika says Malawians need to have hope and optimism to be able to help in the recovery of the economy, saying pessimism would only worsen the situation in the country.
Speaking when he officially opened an Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) annual conference in Mangochi on Thursday, Mutharika said although Malawi’s economy is not in undesirable situation, it is also not as bad as its perception makes people to believe.
He, therefore, called upon informed economists to portray economic realities in a manner that inspires hope.
“A people who are made to feel hopeless cannot move forward to drive an economy. Self-doubt is always a reverse gear of progress,” said Mutharika.
He admitted that Malawi’s economy is fragile as a result of a long history and that there is need for the country to address this fragility now and once for all.
“Our economy can hardly survive major shocks,” said Mutharika.
He cited floods and dry spells, Cashgate looting of public funds as well as withdrawal of donor aid as the factors withdrawal as factors that have contributed to the economic problems prevailing in the country.
“Should it really shock anybody that the economy will only grow by three percent this year?” wondered Mutharika.
He said instead of losing hope, this situation should inspire Malawians to work even harder to restore economic growth.
He challenged the economists to be different by offering concrete proposals alternatives and solutions, saying Ecama was “too precious to stop at colouring the problems”.
He said government was doing its part and assured the economists that it was taking measures to get the economy growing again and bring back the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supported programme.
“We are currently reviewing the National Budget to make it respond to emerging challenges and stimulate economic growth and development,” said Mutharika.
“We have no choice but to keep pushing forward peddles of the economy. And we are aggressively pursuing the Public Sector Reforms, including those on Public Finance Management. It is time to make the people trust their government,” he said.