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Malawi: Think Trade Not Aid, Ecama Schools Finance Minister Chithyola

Economics think-tank, the Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA), has, once again, tipped the country’s finance and economic affairs minister, Simplex Chithyola Banda, to consider trade seriously as a way of doing away with aid.

Malawi is one of the countries that earnestly relies on donor support to run. For example, the latest value of foreign aid and official development assistance received from 2021 is $1154.61.

ECAMA expert, Lucius Pawa, said during one of the 2024/25 pre-budget consultation meetings held at BICC in the capital Lilongwe on Wednesday, that donor support cannot solve the country’s economic setbacks.

“The government should think about trade because it is a sure way of boosting the economy instead of relying on foreign aid,” Pawa said.

Speaking during the meeting, Chithyola Banda, projected that the country’s economy will grow with 3.2 percent in the next year.

Banda said it was possible for the country to overcome the economic challenges it is facing.

He said: “We are confident as a government that we can turn around the economy. First, we need to take bold decisions to protect the economy, then move on the recovery path and in the 2024/25 fiscal year we project a 3.2 percent growth rate of the economy. For this to be realised, there’s a need for deeper collaboration in the spirit of one Malawi and one nation.”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly, Catherine Gotani, has said the 2024/25 Budget Meeting will open on 9 February 2024 at the Parliament Building in Lilongwe.

In a statement, it said that the fourth meeting in the 50th Session of Parliament will run up until April 5, 2024.

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