Malawi’s Vice President Dr Saulosi Chilima has urged economists to re-invent the economic wheel by coming up with pragmatic strategies that can build resilience for the country’s economy in the immediate and long term.
The VP made the call Wednesday in Mangochi during this year’s Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) annual conference being held under the theme “Going beyond macroeconomic stabilization, the need for building resilience to external shocks”.
Chilima said the conference’s theme resonates well with the current economic undertakings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the pandemic has “challenged static reasoning and demands critical thinking, realigning
policies and energies on what turns around the economy.”
“In the real sector, COVID-19 has uneven impacts across sectors. Before COVID-19 set in, projections from business interviews conducted in February 2020 suggested that in 2020 the Malawi economy would grow by 5.5 percent.
After COVID-19 set in, revised estimates done in April 2020 revised our growth prospects downwards to 1.9 percent. Now most recent business interviews have further
lowered the GDP growth estimates for 2020 to 1.2 percent,” said Chilima.
Lauryn Nyasulu, Ecama’s president, said the local and international restrictions have thrown economies across the globe off balance, adding: “But it’s time to think of rebuilding smarter through resilient measures.”
“Pre COVID-19 growth of the economy was projected at 5.5 percent but with the coming in of
the pandemic and slowing down of economic activities the growth has been revised to 1.2 percent. So you see that there has been a contraction of about 4 percent which is quite
significant for the country.
As economists we are here to bang heads and come up with proposed solutions to the situation which will be shared with Government through a communiqué,” said Nyasulu.