The newly elected President Professor Peter Mutharika has announced the appointment of Goodall Gondwe as Finance Minister, the position which is not new to him. Gondwe also served as Minister of Finance during Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika.
But who really Goodal Gondwe is?
Mr. Goodall Gondwe was born on 1st December, 1936, in Kayiwonanga Village. The village is in the area of traditional authority Chief Mtwalo in Mzimba, a town in northern Malawi. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers (FIB). He also holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of London.
Mr. Gondwe has served in the Government of Malawi since 2002. He began his political career serving as economic adviser to President Bakili Muluzi. He continued to serve in the subsequent government under President Bingu wa Mutharika.
He has also been an elected member of the Malawi parliament (legislative branch called Congress in USA), since 2005, serving Mzimba – North district.
In August 2011 he was appointed as the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Affairs. He served until 26 April 2012 after the new political party under the new President, Mrs. Joyce Banda, reshuffled cabinet positions. He was also appointed as Party Vice-President of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on August 1, 2011, by the President at the time, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika and the party’s National Governing Council.
Prior to this, Mr. Goodall Gondwe served as Local Government and Rural Development Minister. It was from June 2009 to August 2010. And prior to this position he served as Malawi’s Minister of Finance (2004 to June 2009), a post he is most noted for in his country’s service. All top Malawian government executive branch posts are appointed by the President of Malawi.
In 2008 Mr Gondwe was voted as Africa’s best Finance Minister of the Year at the African Banker Awards, held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC, USA. The Nyasa Times calls him the “Engine room for Malawi economic achievements.”
Under his stewardship the rate of inflation has fallen from 30% in 2005 to 6% by 2008. More importantly Malawi has seen it’s economy grow by approximately 6 percent. Malawi is a relatively small economy due to its low natural resources compared to its neighbours like Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. It is able to overcome its challenges through sound economic policies.
Mr Goodall Gondwe’s political service has not been all smooth. In November 2008 he was falsely implicated in a corruption scandal of taking bribes from Air Malawi/Comair of South Africa. It was later revealed that it was a mere plot to discredit his reputation (see article link among references below titled: “ Plot to discredit Gondwe uncovered”).
Previous to his Malawi parliamentary and ministerial service Mr Gondwe was the Director of Africa Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Washington DC, USA. He served in the IMF for 22 years. He was also the Vice President of the African Development Bank (ADB).
As IMF Director of Africa Department Mr Goodall Gondwe was responsible for conceiving and supervising the Fund’s regular stabilization and structural adjustments in the region as well as for developing and implementing new programs to facilitate adjustment and long term growth in the poorest and highly indebted countries.
He personally advised and negotiated with the highest level political and economic leaders including heads of states, central bank governors, and key cabinet members. As a result, during his 22 years with the IMF, he has developed a unique and acute knowledge of African economies and has direct personal relations with the key country officials. And, he is intimately familiar with the policies and standards of the major multilateral institutions.