Economists under the banner of Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) converge on Mangochi tomorrow for a two-day conference to discuss critical matters affecting the country’s economy.
At the centre of this year’s Ecama Annual Lakeshore Conference are the challenges and opportunities of population growth for the country’s economic development, which is also the conference’s main theme.
The theme was chosen against background of the results of the 2018 Population and Housing Census, which showed that Malawi’s population is now at 17.6 million, a figure which is four times the country’s population size of 1966.
“As such, the 2019 annual conference aims at encouraging open, proactive debate and policy dialogue on this pertinent economic issue of population and other issues in Malawi to inform policy making,” said Ecama executive director Maleka Thula.
It is projected that with the current population growth rate of 2.9 percent per annum, Malawi’s population is expected to double to around 35 million by 2042. Out of the 17.6 million Malawians as of 2018, about 9.4 million of the youth are below the age of 18, representing around 50 percent of the total population.
Said Thula: “These statistics clearly show that the majority of the Malawians are youthful. Therefore, this poses both challenges and opportunities to the Malawi economy; hence, the need for authorities to begin to seriously discuss and interrogate how Malawi can manage a bulging youthful population.” At the end of the conference, a communiqué will be issued to outline resolutions agreed upon.