Gondwe’s remarks follow an announcement by the World Bank on Thursday that it has given Malawi about K60 billion ($80 million) in general budget support (GBS) after four years of suspension.
In an interview, the Finance Minister said there is a lot more to be done to win back the trust of the country’s major donors.
“I wish to express my gratitude towards the World Bank’s gesture because it is important. The most important aspect of it is not the money, but the fact that it shows that Malawi has come out of the Cashgate fiasco stronger,” said Gondwe.
Addressing Parliament yesterday, President Peter Mutharika described World Bank GBS resumption as ‘a vote of confidence’.
“Last night [Thursday], the World Bank has resumed direct budget support to Malawi and they have approved $80 million. This is the first budget support financing approved by the World Bank for Malawi since Cashgate. This direct budget support is a vote of confidence in us and how we are managing our economy. We expect more such news from the European Union (EU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and others,” said Mutharika.
The World Bank has said the budgetary support to Malawi Government is aimed at boosting the fiscal and agricultural reform efforts.
The bank further said the budget support—referred to as the Agricultural Support and Fiscal Management Development Policy Operation (DPO)—also aims at improving incentives for private sector participation in agricultural markets and to strengthen fiscal management through more effective expenditure controls and greater transparency.
Gondwe said Malawians now need to do more.
“This is not a one-man achievement. This was a national effort. We have to congratulate each and every Malawian for this. We have to thank President Mutharika for being patient and taking the criticism, especially from the press,” he said.
He warned that the resumption of budget from the World Bank does not necessarily mean that bilateral support will also resume.