Malawi's farm input subsidy: where do we go from here?
14 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Washington: Malawiâ€™s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) has dominated the agriculture and food security policy landscape in the country since its inception in 2005/06. FISP is now credited - or blamed, depending on oneâ€™s viewpoint - for a revival of agricultural input subsidies across Africa as a tool to raise crop productivity and reduce poverty and food insecurity. This follows global reporting about Malawiâ€™s dramatic decline in food insecurity after implementing a subsidy program against expert advice. While historically the debate around the desirability of input subsidies tended to focus on whether short-term gains outweighed the long-term opportunity costs of forgone growth-enhancing investments in infrastructure, research, or extension services, a growing body of literature now questions the ability of these programs to even generate short-term, on-farm benefits that outweigh costs. Although discarding FISP may be political suicide in the short term, anecdotal evidence suggests a gradual but marked shift in Malawian public opinion about the effectiveness or even desirability of FISP.
Dar, Lilongwe set up customs centre
13 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Lilongwe: Tanzania and Malawi have signed an agreement for the establishment of a single customs and immigration centre at the Songwe-Kasumulu border, aimed at boosting trade and cementing bilateral relations between the two countries. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Tanzania's Minister of Finance, Ms Saada Mkuya Salum, said African countries ought to trade between themselves to bring about development growth, rather than depending on unreliable aid from development partners.
Southern Africa Quarterly Review and Analysis: 3rd Quarter 2013
6 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Tunis: Economic activity in Southern Africa was vibrant during the 3rd quarter as the region remained on course to attain a projected annual average growth rate of 4.4 percent. In Angola strong growth in the non-oil sector continued to boost overall economic activity. Also, planned new gas and oil fields coming on stream are envisaged to drive higher growth. Botswanaâ€™s economic recovery continued with increasing activity in all sectors. The economy in Lesotho continued to show resilience, largely supported by an improved performance in diamond mining. Malawi is benefitting from improved investor confidence, which is enhancing the availability of foreign exchange to the economy. Also, Malawiâ€™s tobacco marketing session for the third quarter showed higher sales that further the increased availability of foreign exchange. Growth picked up in Mozambique as the adverse effects of the large floods from the beginning of 2013 continued to subside. Economic growth rebounded in South Africa â€“ albeit significantly below the estimated potential â€“ at the back of expansion in manufacturing activities,. In Swaziland growth continued to improve gradually, largely driven by recovery in manufacturing and construction activities.
Promoting savings among low income individuals in Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa: challenges, opportunities
27 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Johannesburg: The purpose of this study is to comprehensively document the savings landscape in Lesotho, Malawi and South Africa in order to understand the challenges and opportunities in promoting savings among low income individuals. Oxford Policy Management (OPM), in association with Kadale Consultants (Malawi) Ltd. (Kadale), were engaged by FinMark Trust, in partnership with UNCDF and UNDP in Malawi and Lesotho (through the Support to Financial Inclusion in Lesotho (SUFIL) project) to undertake this analysis.
Malawi: Economic growth projected at 6.1% in 2014
22 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Mzuzu: Malawi Government says it expects the country's economy to grow by 6.1 per cent this year, following significant progress of programmes under the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP). Minister of Economic Planning and Development, RalphJooma, on Thursday told journalists in Mzuzu during a press briefing by the cabinet committee on ERP, that there is significant progress of Malawi's economy following the implementation of ERP. He said in 2013, Malawi's economy grew by 5.4 per cent as compared to 1.8 per cent growth in 2012.
Growth without borders: a regional growth pole for Southern Africa
10 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Washington: Several countries in Southern Africa have enormous potential to expand trade and mutually benefit from regional integration, and thus truly achieve 'growth without borders'. At the same time, several African countries are adopting growth pole strategies in order to deepen the economic linkages around the development of their natural resources and improve their competitiveness and connectivity to domestic and international markets. This report stems from economic sector work whose purpose was to identify potential growth poles across Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in three industries, agribusiness, mining, and tourism, that might benefit from improved regional integration.
Climate change and economic growth prospects for Malawi: an uncertainty approach
24 January 2014, 12:00 pm
As one of the worldâ€™s poorest countries, Malawi confronts a growth and development imperative, one that must be met within a 21st century context. Climate change marks one salient difference between the previous and current centuries. Based on the best available scientific understanding and combined with an ongoing failure to effectively limit global emissions, this century appears highly likely to be characterized by rising temperatures. At the regional or country level, these temperature increases will be combined with deeply uncertain implications for the timing and quantity of precipitation. Indeed, as pointed out by Quiggin and Horowitz (2003), one of the most profound implications of climate change may be its role as a destroyer of information. In almost any region of the world, decades or even centuries of accumulated knowledge about the nature of local climate may gradually (or even suddenly) cease to be relevant as the fundamental global distribution of climate outcomes evolves. This paper evaluates the potential implications of climate change for Malawi with a focus on overall economic growth and development prospects.
UN and partners launch new project to prevent stunting among children in Malawi
23 January 2014, 12:00 pm
New York: A new United Nations-backed project is being launched today in Malawi to tackle stunting, which affects nearly one million children under the age of five in the southern African nation. The stunting prevention project is supported by the Government, as well as the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and other members of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative, and funded by the Childrenâ€™s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) at a cost of $10 million. It will be carried out in Ntchisi district in Malawiâ€™s central region and reach 66,000 mothers and children over three-and-a-half years of age, according to a joint WFP/CIFF press release.
Museveni: Mozambique, Malawi should belong to Great Lakes Region
17 January 2014, 12:00 pm
Luanda: Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday said Mozambique and Malawi should be members of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL) because of their 'historic link' with the eastern coast and Africaâ€™s Great Lakes. President Museveni, the outgoing chairman of the CIRGL, was speaking at the opening session of the 5th ordinary summit of heads of State and government from the Great Lakes Region on Wednesday in the Angolan capital, Luanda. He called for cooperation between peoples and nations from the region by promoting peace and development, adding that it was important to build infrastructure, like roads, railways and electricity for economic growth.
USAID Malawi country development cooperation strategy 2013â€“2018
17 January 2014, 12:00 pm
Washington: Malawi is at a turning point in its young democratic history, with a chance to make major development progress. Sworn in on April 7, 2012, President Joyce Banda quickly introduced economic and political reform. While the U.S. Government (USG) played a significant and constructive role, it was the government and people of Malawi who reaffirmed their commitment to democratic principles with a peaceful and constitutional succession. Malawi must tackle fundamental governance issues that include corruption, institutional reform, and an inefficient bureaucracy. The current Administration and successive governments will require strong international support - especially from the United States, the largest and most influential donor - to succeed in an ambitious reform agenda and to best address the country's health, education, food security and other socioeconomic needs.