Development partners in the country have hailed government on the strides it is taking to improve the economic status of the country.
Commenting after President Peter Mutharika delivered the State of the Nation Address (Sona) at the opening of the Sixth Meeting in the 46th Session of Parliament and the 2017/18 Budget Meeting in Lilongwe yesterday, both the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) envoys said the economy was showing progress and hope for the better.
The two envoys separately said government has taken some important reform steps which will bring positive development in the short to long-term.
In his address titled ‘Harnessing Economic Gains for Sustainable Socio-economic Development,’ Mutharika said government has registered some economic gains in the past year as evidenced by the three months of import cover as at end February, 2017, a slowdown in inflation which is currently at 15.8 percent as of end March, 2017 and an expected bumper agricultural harvest.
The President said these gains are a sign that the economy, which was battered by successive natural disasters—floods and drought in 2015 and 2016—is on recovery path.
In reaction, British High Commissioner Holly Tett said she was happy that the country is working hard to achieve single-digit inflation, which she said gives a little bit of hope for economic recovery.
“This is positive news and we expect more to come, government has shown willingness to improve through its reforms programme and we hope for the better,” she said.
Sharing her sentiments, EU Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann said so far economic indicators show that the economy will grow this year compared to last year.
“There is a promise in the economy and I hope that it [the gains] will be maintained,” he said.
Mutharika’s optimism got a major boost as on Thursday, the World Bank, one of Malawi’s major development partners, announced the resumption of general budget support and approved $80 million (K60 billion) funding.