Norwegian Ambassador Kikkan Haugen says Malawi’s economic growth is failing to keep pace with its population growth and has urged government to address the contributing factors if poverty is to be reduced.
Recent figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) estimate the country’s population at 17.6 million.
Speaking during the handover ceremony of a laboratory to Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) in Blantyre on Thursday, Haugen said Malawi, being one of the poorest countries in the world and having low foreign direct investment (FDI) compared to its neighbours in the region, needs to be competitive.
He said: “It is, therefore, very easy to sympathise and support the President’s vision of Malawi growing its economy and gradually becoming less dependent on foreign aid.
“Many fundamental challenges still need to be solved in Malawi, but since the introduction of multiparty democracy, Malawi has remained a stable and peaceful country.”
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe is on record as having described the high population growth rate as scary while Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) called it a social and economic disaster.
Said Gondwe: “As I see it, we do not have much productivity and it is negative thing because we have more people to feed. n