President Peter Mutharika has claimed that Malawi is the first country in Africa to turn around its economy in three years without donor support.
According to Mutharika, Malawi has achieved macro-economic stability and the economy is beginning to grow due to sound economic management under his administration.
The Malawi leader was speaking yesterday in Scotland when addressing the Scottish Parliament.
He said he assumed power at a time when the economy was on the brink of collapsing and when Malawi had a deficit that almost equalled the country’s annual national budget due to the impact of cashgate.
“Four years ago, inflation was at 24 per cent. We have brought inflation down to the single digit. Today, inflation is at 7.8 percent. Four years ago, interest rates were at 25 per cent. Today, interest rates are at 16 per cent.
“Four years ago, our foreign currency import cover was below 2 months – the lowest in Malawi’s history. Today, our foreign currency import cover is at 6 months – the highest in our history.
“Not long ago, GDP Growth Rate was at 2.4 per cent per year and we have now taken our economic growth to just about 6 per cent per year.
“Four years ago, our local currency was volatile and unpredictable. Today, the local currency is stable and predictable,” he said.
On corruption, Mutharika said he became president when the vice was becoming a culture since it was being accepted as the normal way of doing things as evidenced by the cashgate scandal.
“When you fight a culture, it is your own people that you fight. And it takes a process to reverse a culture while our citizens demand conclusive solutions now or never,” Mutharika said.
He also observed that when someone fights corruption in Malawi, corruption fights back.
According to Mutharika, various sections of society such as church, opposition and media have politicised corruption and they think they are not part of the problem.
“The Opposition makes it a political agenda for fighting Government. They exaggerate the perception of corruption to make the people believe that they are holier than us. What follows is finger-pointing. In short, politicization of corruption defeats the very collective acceptance needed for a collective fight,” Mutharika said.
He however said Malawi is making progress in fighting the vice since his government is focusing on fighting corruption.
According to Mutharika, the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index says Malawi has improved on the absence of corruption category and is one of the four impressive performers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In his speech, the Malawi leader said Malawi is determined to become a producing and exporting nation.
To achieve this Malawi is focusing on commercialising agriculture, attracting foreign direct investment, skills development and infrastructure development.