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World Bank outlines key support areas

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New World Bank Malawi Country Manager, Greg Toulmin, has reiterated the Bretton Woods institution’s commitment towards ensuring macro-economic stability in the short to medium terms.

To attain the set goal, Toulmin has since outlined four key support areas including prudent fiscal management, agriculture sector revitalisation, revamping the energy sector and water development.

Speaking in an interview when he toured Times Group head offices in Blantyre yesterday, Toulmin said sustaining the recent improvements in the macroeconomic fundamentals would require discipline.

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He said policy stability and consistency would help the country to avert a possible deflection from the development path.

“We are really committed to supporting the government to find ways to bringing vibrancy back to the economy. There are four things that I want to focus on. The first one is macro-economic stability,” Toulmin said.

To attain this, Toulmin called on government to desist from spending beyond its budget ceiling and further cut on domestic borrowing.

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He further reiterated the need for the country to invest in smart agriculture and water management if it is to reclaim the sector’s ability to contribute heavily to the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said coupled with improved energy sector, the agriculture sector still remains Malawi economy’s backbone.

“We believe that the economy needs to become more diverse; agriculture is very important to Malawi and has more potential but it’s not enough on its own; we need to also invest in the energy sector.

“There is a mismatch between supply and demand and there is a compelling need to expand energy access. But if the current generation capacity cannot meet demand, there is a question on how to expand and grow the economy.

Among others, Toulmin outlined the Malawi-Mozambique power interconnector as well as the Shire Valley irrigation project as some key focal areas.

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