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Experts dissect economy

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By Taonga Sabola:

The country’s top economists started meeting in Mangochi District Thursday to dissect the economy and propose sustainable solutions that could fast-track the healing process of Malawi’s ailing economy.

The 2018 Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) annual conference, which is being held under the theme ‘Current and Emerging Challenges towards Achieving Transformative, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth’, comes at a time economic growth has remained subdued, projected at around 3.4 percent this year.

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It also comes at a time inflation, which has been in the single digit in the past 12 months, is threatening to run away, recorded at 9.7 percent in October, triggered by rising food and non-food prices.

The indaba also comes at a time the International Monetary Fund has indicated that Malawi’s Extended Credit Facility programme remains on track.

Ecama Board of Trustees Chairperson, Dalitso Kabambe, challenged economists to take full advantage of opportunities that are in Malawi to grow the economy.

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“I hope this conference will seriously look at this matter and discuss what can be done to unleash the potential this country has, including investing in the energy sector, which requires serious risk-takers to generate power,” Kabambe said.

Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Mwanamvekha, said the conference provides economists with an opportunity to take stock of how far they have gone in surmounting challenges identified during last year’s indaba.

Mwanamvekha said it is the intention of the government to ensure that economic gains translate into meaningful improvements in the welfare of life of Malawians regardless of gender, age, religion or political affiliation.

“It is therefore important that economic growth interventions that we put in place should be economically feasible, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly,” Mwanamvekha said.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Maria Jose Torres, urged the economists to discuss ways of managing growing inequality levels in the country.

At the start of the meeting, the economists observed a minute of silence in honour of Matthews Chikaonda, who was one of the trustees of Ecama.

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