The country’s top accountants met in Blantyre on Friday evening to draw a roadmap for Malawi’s economic recovery during the 2012 Society of Accountants in Malawi (Socam) Annual Dinner and Dance.
Socam President Lekani Katandula said taking into account the numerous economic challenges that Malawi faced recently; there could be no better topic for the accountants to brainstorm on than a roadmap for economic recovery.
Malawi’s economy has been walking on tight ropes, thereby weakening macroeconomic growth over the past 24 months.
Fuel scarcity coupled with forex unavailability crippled the business sector.
Malawians also saw domestic borrowing increasing drastically, foreign direct investments slowing and all economic growth forecasts becoming unrealistic.
However, the 2012/13 National Budget presented by Finance Minister Ken Lipenga early this month appears to be offering some hope as it has seen the removal of turnover tax and introduced incentives to exporters which Socam believes will spur growth.
“It is now the duty of my fellow accountants to be at the centre of innovation to drive exports.
“As strategists, the 21st century accountant is more than challenged to be the guiding light to the economic glory. Accountants are an instrumental piece in the jigsaw of sustained growth,” said Katandula.
He argued that from the accountancy profession’s perspective, the general debate about the budget is almost over; arguing time has come for accountants to sit up and take stock of the consequent changes and challenges pertaining to their area of activity in detail and move on with speed and diligence for the good of the country’s enterprises.
“Accountants should now assume the leadership role of guiding the implementation of the budget to ensure that budget allocations made are properly utilized.
“As custodians of the financial purse and financial strategists, accountants can lead in economic recovery if they take the challenge of providing timely and appropriate financial information to other decision makers to aid continued and sustainable economic growth in Malawi.
“Now is the time that our accountants start thinking and discharging their duties outside the figures box,” said Katandula.
Reserve Bank of Malawi Deputy Governor responsible for supervision of financial institutions Grant Kabango said over the past six weeks it has become increasingly evident that the economy is shifting towards a pick-up phase, though economic activity has remained flat.
Kabango observed that looking at figures, Malawi’s economic turnaround is expected in 2013 or 2014.
“Members of Socam are collectively well placed to contribute to the economic recovery debate. Otherwise, from the Central Bank, we believe that if the liberalisation agenda we have rolled out is adequately and urgently supported by all key stakeholders, both internally as well as externally, the recovery period will be much shorter,” said Kabango.
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