Malawi's economic fate awaits decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has set 10 February 2010 as the day to decide the new programme to be taken up by Malawi.
Malawi became the first country to implement a year-long IMF low interest loan programme called Exogenous shocks Facility (ESF) where it used US$77.1m to support the terms of trade shocks as a result of hiking prices of fuel and fertiliser.
Since the expiry of this programme last year, Malawi has been anxiously waiting for another economic programme, which will be the bedrock of its economic activities.
“It is a do or die situation,” said Dr. Perks Ligoya, Malawi's central bank governor, to a local daily adding that they are doing everything possible for this to work saying they “need this programme to save the economy.”
Already, indicators of how bad things might get have started showing; Malawi, which needs a minimum of three months of import cover as per international recommendation, now has an equivalent of 1.38 months of import cover.
According to latest minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee of the central bank as of 13 November 2009, official foreign reserves had dropped to US$177.9 million.
Gregory Gondwe is a Malawian journalist who started writing in 1993. He is also a media consultant assisting several international journalists pursuing assignments in Malawi. He holds a Diploma and an Intermediate Certificate in Journalism among other media-related certificates. He can be contacted on . Follow him on Twitter at @Kalipochi.
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Is it Very Bad?-
I am anxious to find out how bad things might get for Malawi if we are not offered another Programme by IMF.
What a pity this 2010 and we still depend on IMF for us to make any movements?
What is this? Not a few days ago Malawi was an economic star performer, it was the bretton woods' blue eyed boy now it is begging for favours, what has gone wrong? I hear President Mutharika gave a US$100m loan to Zimbabwe that led to forex shortage according to one columnist in Malawi's weekly? and he also bout a Presidential Jet that has caused pain to their economy? Why is African leadership always behaving irresponsibly when they think their bread is well battured. Please Gregory Tell us what IMF vdecision will be, we are waiting anxiously)).