Amid COVID-19 Surge, Economist Sounds SOS

Amid COVID-19 Surge, Economist Sounds SOS

As Covid-19 continue to wreak havoc on the country’s, a renowned economist has tipped Malawians to embrace new economic paradigms to deal with unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dean of Commence at the Polytechnic Betchani Tchereni challenged Malawi to embrace new ways of doing business in the wake of massive disruption in commerce and Industry.

Tchereni: Economy in Jeopardy

Tchereni who admitted that the country is in an economic crisis; emphasising embracing technology and other safer means of doing business.

“As Malawians it is very important that we should have learnt by now how this infection disrupts economic activities so that we create means of mitigating the risks with minimal loss,” he observed.

He said during the last eight months the disease the country started grappling with the shocks of the disease, some innovative ways of thriving in its midst should have been devised.

“It is sad e-commence is yet to gain traction although we know its the best way to go forward,” explained Tchereni.

Since the first case was recorded some eight months ago, Malawi has slipped into further economic turmoil, resulting in the increase of commodity prices and job cuts.

This, according to Tchereni, has worsened poverty levels as interventions to mitigate the risks imposed by the pandemic seem not to have proper effect.

The economic shocks are coming when Malawi economy is on the brink of recession on the back of devastating impact of the covid-19 pandemic, which has hit the country hard.

For instance, the trend has triggered hike in fuel pump prices, which according to Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) the rose due to the devaluation of the Kwacha against the major trading currencies.

The Kwacha was devalued by 3.37 percent in May 2020.

The economic pundit further emphasized on the need for government to push banks and mobile service providers to reduce or entirely remove some tariffs that are charged during various transactions in order to cushion its citizens on the effects of the pandemic.

This, he said, would spur e-transactions and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 spread in Trade and Industry.

He, however, cautions that laxity in adherence to prevention measures will escalate the pandemic and isolate members of society thereby limiting economic activities.

“Escalation of deaths due to COVID-19 will force government to take drastic measures such as lockdown which could further disrupt economic activities ” he warned, urging members of the business community to try their best to help contain the spread of the disease in their areas of operation.

“If everybody was wearing a face mask, we could go about our business as usual.  But because some people are not adhering to preventative measures, that is why we are at the danger of closing some businesses either due to government order or widespread in places of business,” he added.

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