By Yohane Symon
President Lazarus Chakwera has challenged economists to find solutions to economic challenges the country is facing.
He was speaking in Mangochi District Thursday, when he opened this year’s Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) annual lakeshore conference.
The President said the negative impact of the Covid pandemic would continue to affect the citizenry if people decided to leave the responsibility of finding solutions to the government alone.
“Ours is a time that calls for the same kind of resolve our forebears showed during the Great War. Like theirs, ours is a time that requires substantial and permanent changes to Malawian society. Like theirs, ours is a time that requires widespread citizen involvement in the solutions we effect to defeat the four enemies that have left our people impoverished such as governance maladministration, lack of economic productivity, systemic corruption, and global inequalities,” he said.
Chakwera said his administration was committed to wielding the powers of the office of the President to address root causes that fuel poverty among Malawians.
“Despite the pain caused by some of the measures we must take to reverse our fortunes, there are signs that our interventions are yielding fruit and that domestic economic recovery is underway, its state of vulnerability notwithstanding,” he said.
Vice president Saulos Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development, emphasized the need for Malawi to iron out policies that were hindering new investments in the country.
Chilima said, for instance, that some inappropriate incentives only benefit foreign investors while limiting local investments.
“We also have the issue of licencing for new businesses as another major stumbling block to investment locally. For example, one has to obtain about 15 licences for him to open a hotel in Malawi. This is too much. As part of our reforms, we are trying to bring all this under one roof so that we can attract investment,” he said.
Ecama President Luaryn Nyasulu said economists would try to come up with resolutions that would help the country come up with solutions for some of its economic problems.
“The year 2021 has been tough for us as economists due to Covid restrictions, which were imposed by the government. But we are sure that we will come up with resolutions which will help the government in the implementation of Agenda 2063,” she said.