Economic experts have described the Presidential Private Sector Council as less important, saying there are existing entities which could achieve a similar mandate.
President Lazarus Chakwera announced establishment of the council in his New Year message to Malawians on Sunday evening, saying names of members of the council will be announced this week.
Chakwera said the council will have private sector leaders he will be interacting with directly and regularly to appreciate the effectiveness of economic policies in creating jobs and wealth in the New Year.
“I believe that if we are going to succeed, it is not enough to have good policies and good people in government; we also need good citizens to be vigilant against the threats that have potential to compromise the security of our resources and our country,” Chakwera said.
University of Malawi-based economist Lucius Cassim said the council will add to many bodies that have tried to engage authorities’ overtime on economic policies.
“What matters is the coordination among these bodies because if we set up these entities and they end up working separately, then we have a problem. Therefore I hope that the coming of this council will not undermine other institutions,” Cassim said.
In a separate interview, economic consultant Exley Silumbu singled out the Department of Economic Planning under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the National Planning Commission as institutions that can do that.
“What are we trying to achieve? By now we should have known that in this country we do not lack people or plans but implementation. Now we are having all these entities, for what? We just need to implement what we already have,” Silumbu argued.
One of the entities which could perform such a task, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s President Lekani Katandula, said it was premature to comment on establishment of the council.
“I have not seen what the exact mandate of this council will be. Therefore, it will be premature to comment. Maybe let us wait and see when the appointments are made and see details on what is expected to be done by that council,” Katandula said.
Presidential spokesperson Anthony Kasunda was not immediately available for a comment to shed more light on establishment of the council.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.