By: THE ECONOMIC THINK TANKER$

As the country faces more and more economic problems we believe that; in order to find solutions to these problems and set our nation back onto the righteous path of economic prosperity and social development, we have to identify the root causes of this catastrophe. We believe, since these economic hiccups are being experienced mainly due to the scarcity of forex in the country then a major issue that needs to be addressed and ASAP is , as HE correctly says, Malawi’s lack of manufacturing and agro processing industries. Just take a look around at the shops and stores in the country and you will notice that sadly most popular goods sold there are foreign brands and these could be easily be produced locally and the few goods that are locally produced lack quality either in product standard or packing and marketing. So a lot of forex is wasted in importing simple goods that could be produced locally, such as cornflakes tomato ketchup, poultry goods etc. What makes the situation worse is that; the largest retail stores which many people find appealing and are attracted to shop at, are foreign, mostly South African, owned stores. So with a situation like this many of the goods stocked in these stores are foreign brands and not only is forex wasted importing these goods but also a large chunk ,if not all, of the profits made by these stores are externalized, because obviously being foreign companies their head offices are outside the country, so worse still to eternalize their profits they need to take forex from our local banks and send it abroad, because honestly no one in south Africa is going to be keeping a Foreign Dominated Account (FDA )in Malawi kwacha. Malawi is a net importer, which means we import more goods than we export, meaning we spend more forex than we earn, and spending it all basic goods leads to bigger problems of failing to find forex to import major essential commodities such as fuel and medicines. The lack of manufacturing and agro processing is due to many causes and the Government (Executive, Legislator, and Judiciary), Private Sector, banks, and individual citizens all need to take some amount of blame, but then more importantly play their part and do what little they can to help solve the problem. Government needs to enact and enforce laws and policies that will assist and protect indigenous entrepreneurs and investors. the private sector; mostly financial institutions need to give greater access to capital and financing, in terms of softer loans and finance management and advisory . Individuals need to be more entrepreneurship minded not just rely on work the government and other institutions to do all the development work. Existing entrepreneurs must be more innovative professional and work together and share ideas support each other and not just are limited to building their own businesses and enriching themselves, but rather to a greater cause that is building the nation and help in giving a brighter future to their children and the Malawi nation as a whole.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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