By Kenson McCloud
Polytechnic based economist has cited covid-19 pandemic and anti-government protests as major factors which stalled the country’s economic progress.
Dr Tchereni Betchani says the year 2020 will go a long way in Malawi’s history as it was characterized by uncertainties largely due to the globe pandemic which has affected several sectors and main drivers of the economy at a globe scale.
Dr Betchani said, "Although a necessary evil but the ant-government protests conducted by the civil society organisations and concerned Malawians led to loss of investment as business tycoons were reluctant to take a risk in an environment which was deemed hostile."
According to Dr Betchani, covid-19 restrictions also had a huge impact on tourism and manufacturing industries as trading partners closed down their borders which translated to loss of businesses.
However Dr Betchani commended the minister of trade for his 60-40 indigenization policy where government will be purchasing 60 percent of goods and services from local manufacturers with foreign businesses given 40 percent, saying this will boost local business.
"The decision to reduce interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Malawi to caution impact of covid-19 was also a right step towards recovery of the economy," explained Betchani.
Meanwhile National Youth Council of Malawi says despite the enormous challenges encountered in the year 2020 they have made efforts to empower youth economically.
NYCOM Executive Director Dingiswayo Jere said they have worked with different partners in building young entrepreneurs and providing links to those who are already established.