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Malawi government eyes budget aid

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Secretary to Treasury, Ronald Mangani, has said with the progress that the Public Finance Management Reforms are making, government is optimistic that its development partners will soon return with direct budgetary support.

The withdrawal of direct budgetary support in 2013— which accounted for about 40 percent of Malawi’s national budget—continues putting the country in a fix, as it has to largely fund its expenditure using domestic revenue.

The Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) announced at the opening of the Cabs First Review Meeting for the 2013/14 fiscal year that the plunder of public funds, now dubbed Cashgate, had sapped the confidence of donors in Malawi’s finance management.

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But Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, has consistently indicated that donors are leaving countries even where there is no plunder of public funds.

In an interview in Lilongwe yesterday, at the opening of a meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) national and regional authorising officers, Mangani said government is optimistic that relevant reviews will approve Malawi’s public finance management.

“Soon, World Bank and European Union representatives will be reviewing the public finance management. We hope that those reviews and the ones which the International Monetary Fund has conducted will show that we have corrected all the problems that were there,” said Mangani.

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He added that he hopes that the reviews will further trigger the resumption of support from Malawi’s development partners.

Regarding the ACP meeting, Mangani said it will allow participants to familiarise themselves with the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) strategy paper and provide guidance on how the private sector, civil societies and public institutions can access available resources for various development programmes.

Assistant Secretary- General of the ACP Secretariat, Henrique Banze, said the ACP—which is a group of 79 member states partnering with the EU on development—has its core objective of fighting poverty.

“We are trying to make sure that countries are really participating in their development. You know that last year, the international community has approved three main decisions on finance and development, sustainable development and the environment,” said Banze.

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