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Experts meet to heal economy

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The country’s top economists gather in Mangochi from today to diagnose and recommend the right prescription for the local economy which has been left bedridden by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2020 Economics Association of Malawi Annual Conference comes at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has left almost all the global economies limping and disrupted supply chains.

Ecama President Lauryn Nyasulu said this year’s indaba will be held under the theme ‘Going Beyond Economic Stabilisation-the Need for Building Resilience to External Shocks’ and will be officially opened by Vice President, Saulos Chilima.

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The local economy has enjoyed stability for a couple of years but has failed to register significant growth which could help pull over half of the country’s population out of abject poverty.

The indaba has attracted top economic minds which include World Bank Country Director Hugh Riddel, IMF Resident Representative Farayi Gwenhamo, Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor Wilson Banda and UNDP Resident Representative Shigeki Komatsubara.

Other speakers would include Secretary for Economic Planning and Development Winford Masanjala, IFPRI Leader of Malawi Country Strategy Bob Baulch, Chancellor College Economics Professor Ronald Mangani and PPPC acting Chief Executive Officer Audrey Mwala.

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The meeting also comes at a time Malawi is on the verge of unveiling a long term development blue print, the Vision 2063 which will succeed the failed Vision 2020.

Nyasulu said the conference was crucial to economists’ work.

“This economy has been hit by several shocks in recent years and the shocks have dented the economy and it hasn’t been easy to recover from them. If you look at the recent shock of Covid-19, the impact on the economy has been immense and we have seen how GDP growth rate had to be revised downwards.

“We have seen how revenue collection has been affected; we have seen how jobs have been lost. All these point to the fact that whatever shocks come our way, we need to have good strategies in place that can help us to ensure that our economy recovers as quickly as possible so that people don’t get highly affected,” Nyasulu said.

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