By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- MALAWI, Joseph Mwanamvekha- Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development heralded that; Malawi will finally get resources amounting to US$40 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in direct budget support, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha has announced.
This will be the first time in six years after the IMF suspended support in 2013 following looting of public funds at Capital Hill dubbed cashgate.
Speaking on the 23rd November, 2019 during a media briefing at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, Mwanamvekha said the IMF Executive Board completed and validated the second and third reviews of the three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Malawi.
“Following this approval, the IMF will disburse resources amounting to US$40 million (approximately, K29 billion) to Malawi by the first week of December, 2019.
“This… is a clear signal by the IMF of their faith in the Government of Malawi’s economic management and policies which have resulted into continued strengthening of this country’s economy in the midst of negative shocks and vulnerabilities,” he said.
“This approval has come at a time when government and the people of Malawi are focused on a growth path to take advantage of the macroeconomic stability that continues to prevail in this country,” he further said.
Mr. Mwanamvekha justified the IMF’s decision as historical and unprecedented considering what Malawi has gone through recently ranging from natural disasters to elections; all of which are heavy costing on their own.
“This money will go directly to support our Budget and will help greatly in the macroeconomic stability of the economy,” Mwanamvekha said.
He hailed President Arthur Peter Mutharika “for his stewardship and visionary leadership in taking Malawi to this level of macroeconomic stability.
“Our cooperating and development partners have now trust and confidence in working with Malawi and thereby supporting its development efforts.”
Mwanamvekha further said the country expects that the IMF’s approval of the second and third reviews will have a strong signaling effect to other donors to resume budget support to Malawi.
On concerns about the rising debt and other negatives, he said government will continue with fiscal policy consolidation to ensure that public debt is clearly brought on a downward trajectory.
“Already, government has commenced recording positive outcomes from its domestic revenue mobilisation efforts that have seen the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) meeting targets,” the Minister noted
“This will also help in job creation and assist government in making decisions for the intelligent investment in other sectors of the economy,” he said.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent