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USA hails Malawi for undertaking ‘tough’ reforms

File: Chakwera and Young

United States of America (USA) Ambassador David Young has hailed Malawi for undertaking some tough reforms to secure an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ambassador Young made the remarks on Thursday during a press briefing held at his residence in Lilongwe.

Young, who stressed that the government has to do more to consolidate gains, said among others the country must cut on unnecessary expenses such as daily subsistence allowances for civil servants.

According to Young, this will help to free up resources for social spending in “areas where it is needed most”, such as health and education.

In his televised address last evening, Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera said the approved US$ 174 million ECF to Malawi by the Executive Board of the IMF will help the country unlock foreign direct investments and strengthen Malawi’s productivity.

Chakwera said several development partners are already lined up to inject millions of dollars into the country’s economy, a thing which will enrich the local banks with forex and enable them to import strategic commodities.

He cited World Bank’s US$ 60 million Trade Finance Facility, US$ 217 million as a response to fiscal reforms, US$ 250 million for Agriculture Commercialization (AGCOM2), US$ 30 million for maize purchase, African Development Bank’s US$ 30 million for budgetary support,

European Union’s Euro 70 million for budgetary support and International Fund for Agriculture Development’s US$ 6 million for projects in agriculture

The Malawi leader also said the approved ECF will also act as a signal to investors that Malawi is back to a status of being an investor-friendly environment, a thing which will attract them to invest in Malawi’s mining, tourism and agriculture sectors which will help to grow the country’s economy.

Commenting on the recent devaluation, the President said the pain which has come with it is temporal, and a season of joy and harvest will come.

He said the ECF is an opportunity which has to be put to good use, and as a leader, he will not allow anybody to squander it.

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