Malawi’s economists started meeting in Lilongwe on Wednesday to debate Malawi’s economic future during the Third Joint National Annual Research Symposium organised by the Economics Association of Malawi and National Planning Commission.
The two-day symposium, which is being held under the theme ‘Inclusive Sustainable Economic Development- Envisioning Wealth for All’, has attracted over 100 economists from the public and private sector as well as the academia.
The symposium comes at a time growth of the local economy has remained subdued, growing at a snail’s pace in recent years, thereby failing to significantly reduce poverty levels.
Making a keynote address during the symposium, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara, underscored the need for close coordination among stakeholders in the development of human capital.
Komatsubara said both the private sector and government had a critical role to play in ensuring that Malawi develops quality human capital for her economic development.
Presenting a paper on Poverty-Growth-Inequality Triangle; Evidence from Malawi, Chancellor College economist Winford Masanjala said, while poverty is a phenomenon of the rural areas, inequality is more pronounced in urban areas.
Masanjala noted that increasing access to quality education could be key in bridging the inequality gap in the country.
National Planning Commission Director General Thomas Munthali and Ecama Executive Director Maleka Thula said the symposium was crucial in guiding the commission on evidence-based input towards the future of Malawi’s economy.
Munthali said the planning commission was in the process of crafting a successor plan to the Vision 2020 which is expected to be launched next year.
“This symposium is crucial as it will help us to be enlightened on various research studies that have been conducted in the country and on how best we could take them on board to improve the economic future of Malawi,” Munthali said.