The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) on Thursday, disclosed that the Malawi economy is recovering from the shocks that it has had over the past five years, such as the major devaluation in 2012, Cashgate in 2013, and weather vulnerability in 2015 and 2016.
Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor Dr. Dalitso Kabambe announced that Malawi has just successfully weathered off from the shocks of the past. He said this in Lilongwe during the inaugural of the Financial Inclusion Indaba and Launch of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) at the Bingu International Conventional Centre (BICC).
He said currently the country’s economy is on very good footing, and is fully recovering from all the shocks.
The Governor said Malawi’s focus should be on how to grow the economy. He therefore called for collective responsibility to ensure steady and sustainable growth of the country’s economy.
“This launch of the financial inclusion is to see that the financial and banking sector reach out to those that are failing to access banking services, and how best they participate in these services,” the Governor said.
“Maybe it is as entrepreneurs how do we ensure that every single Malawian in the country is party to the financial sector activities so that we move our country forward, and that the country can produce more output, create more jobs and ensure that we create wealthy for prosperity of our nation,” Kabambe said.
He further highlighted some concerns from the public on the high rate of interest in commercial banks and other service providers in the banking and financial sector.
Kabambe pointed out that Malawi is coming from a very difficult and challenging period where inflation rate was always high. This resulted in high cost of services and goods.
But he was optimistic that with the recovering economy, interest and inflation rates in the banks will continue to simultaneously go down.
He said there is need to work very hard so that Malawi continues to bring down the rates. Additionally, as the RBM is reducing the policy rate, commercial banks, microfinance institutions should also do the same and bring their rates down.
“We have gone further to set up a task force that is specifically working and focusing on how banks can reduce their spread,” he said.
Secretary to the Treasury Dr. Ben Botolo said the objectives of the indaba was to bring policy makers, financial sector stakeholders, and development actors to discuss opportunities and challenges in the financial sector that need attention.
He said the strategy, which replaces the 2010-2014 Strategy, aims to support economic growth and improve household welfare.
The indaba’s theme was ‘Accelerating Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction’.