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Malawi facing worst economic crisis in decade, admits Chakwera

Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda delivers the SONA to President Lazarus Chakwera during the 50th Session of Parliament pic by Lisa kadango Malango

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has officially opened the 50th session of the National Assembly with a State of the Nation Address (SONA) at New Parliament Building in Lilongwe.

He expressed government’s commitment to restructuring the country’s economy to be productive enough to create wealth, jobs, achieve food security and move the country to a low-middle-income economy as outlined in the Malawi 2063 and thereafter achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Vice President Saulos Chilima and Madame Mary Chilima being welcomed by Deputy speaker Madalitso Kazombo-pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

President Chakwera admitted that Malawi just like other countries globally, is faced with economic shocks due to global economic trends and locally the economy has also suffered due to servicing of accumulated domestic debts and adverse weather conditions which affected agricultural productivity and power generation.

Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda delivers the SONA to President Lazarus Chakwera during the 50th Session of Parliament pic by Lisa kadango Malango

In view of the economic shocks, the president said government will continue cushioning Malawians with social protection programmes such as Affordable Input Programme, social cash transfer, relief food and public works programmes.

He said for efficiency’s sake, all social protection programmes will be consolidated to avoid duplication of beneficiaries.

He then outlined some of the progress registered and works underway in various sectors which are key in driving country’s economy such as finance and economic affairs, agriculture, tourism, mining, education, health, transport and public works among others.

Leader of UDF in the house Ned Phoya interacts with Deputy Minister of Local government Owen Chomanika during the opening of the 50th session of parliament-pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

He cited the approval and disbursement of $88.3 million rapid credit facility from International Monetary Fund (IMF), advanced negotiations for a new Extended Credit Facility from same IMF, good progress of the first 10-year implementation programme of the Malawi 2063, as some of the achievements made under finance and economic affairs sector.

Dr Chakwera also said government is pushing for agricultural mechanization,
commercialization, and industrialization with development of mega farms and intensive irrigation through development and rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and construction of 50 state of the art livestock centres.

The State of the Nation Address also expressed progress made in sectors of tourism, mining and trade and industry where interventions such proper legislation, infrastructure development and enforcement of laws were put in place to ensure that the said sectors contribute to the country’s GDP.

Minister of Education Madalitso kambauwa Wirima interacts with Sameer Suleman MP for Blantyre City South East during the opening of the 50th Session of Parliament-pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

The statement also highlighted various infrastructural and human resource gains in sectors such as education, health, transport and public work, local government, natural resources and climate change, trade and industry, homeland security, water and sanitation, youth and sports and judiciary all to ensure effective service delivery and more infrastructures are expected in the 2023/24 financial year, Inkosi Yamakhosi M’belwa University being one of them.

Opposition lawmakers interacting

The State of the Nation Address was delivered under the theme: “Delivering Economic Transformation and Governance Reform through Sacrificial Action and Service Excellence.”

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