Economic expert from the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences Betchani Tchereni has expressed hope that the local economy could pick up by 3 percent in 2023 as projected by the World Bank (WB).
His sentiments are based on favourable rains the country has been receiving since December, saying they could boost agriculture production.
Last week, WB revised downwards Malawi’s 2023 economic growth prospects by 1.3 percentage points to 3 percent from an earlier projection of 4.3 percent.
The Bretton Woods institution indicated that the revised growth is on account of several factors, both external to Malawi and internal, which have affected economic activities.
“The revision is on account of the spillover effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, poor crop production and power outages which have affected the productivity of the country,” WB’s global economic prospects report reads.
In an interview on Monday, Tchereni said, all things being equal, the projected growth is likely to be achieved.
“We are, so far, having favourable rain which means we might have good yields. Donor confidence is returning and we have seen some activities on mining; therefore, all these, combined with many other projects going on, the projected growth can be achieved,” Tchereni said.
However, the WB’s projection is 0.3 percentage points higher than the government’s projection at 2.7 percent.
Presenting the mid-term budget to Parliament recently, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said the projection will be achieved at the back of different strategies which the government has put in place.
“Going forward, growth prospects remain positive due to the planned restoration of Kapichira hydro power station and the agriculture commercialisation drive,” Gwengwe said.
Malawi’s economic growth has been sluggish since the onset of the Covid pandemic, coupled with natural disasters and the war in Ukraine.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
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