A report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank has revealed that introducing targeted reforms and attracting investment in key sectors could help Malawi build a robust private sector, create jobs and more quickly recover from the Covid pandemic.
The document, the Malawi Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) report, which was released on Monday, examines opportunities and constraints in four sectors: Energy, digital infrastructure and services, transport and logistics, and agribusiness.
It calls on the government to act decisively to mitigate the adverse effects of the Covid pandemic on health, human capital, and the economy by introducing policy reforms in the four sectors.
The four sectors were selected from an analysis of recent performance— including trends in trade, investment, and productivity— and a modeling of the country’s current capabilities and economic fitness, such as the potential of each sector to act as a job multiplier.
The report outlines reforms that could increase private investment, contribute to growth, and support job creation.
The reforms which the report recommends would help strengthen fiscal fundamentals, increase access to reliable power, improve markets and promote commercial agriculture.
IFC Country Manager Amena Arif said Malawi is on a growth trajectory, and that the investment in the four key sectors outlined in the CPSD will especially empower women and young people in the country.
“Supporting these entrepreneurs, by expanding digital connectivity and increasing digital literacy, could positively impact the economy,” Arif said.
World Bank Country Manager Hugh Riddell said the bank would help the private sector realise its potential.
“We see significant private investment potential in Malawi to boost economic growth and are ready to work with our partners to seize these opportunities and create new markets,” Riddell said.
The report also notes that Covid has highlighted the importance of digital connectivity.
It says expanding digital inclusion could help more Malawians earn an income and develop skills for the growing digital economy both during—and after— the pandemic.
IFC has produced CPSDs in 25 countries.
The CPSDs are designed to provide in-depth economic analyses that identify opportunities for the private sector to combat poverty and create opportunities.