Finance Minister Ken Lipenga has disclosed that Malawi has agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to work towards a new programme rather than resuscitation the off-track Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
Lipenga, who returned on Thursday from Washington DC, United States of America, where he led a Malawi delegation to the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, told The Daily Times that in all the meetings he attended, he saw a great deal of goodwill and enthusiasm for Malawi and in particular for the new President.
"And I repeatedly stated our hope that this goodwill would be translated into action in as short a time as possible," said Lipenga.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Ministry of Finance says while in Washington DC, the Malawi delegation held negotiations with the IMF at both technical and policy levels which focused on setting parameters and laying the ground work for proposed IMF programme with Malawi.
It said the delegation also met senior staff of the IMF, which has agreed to send a mission team to Malawi during mid-May 2012 to finalise programme discussions.
"The Senior Staff of the IMF, while conveying their deepest condolences for the loss of our former President, congratulated Malawi for the smooth transition of power Malawi and assured the delegation that they will do everything possible to help the Malawi authorities in their efforts to ensure that the economy returns to a path of growth and employment quickly," reads the statement.
Lipenga also held several meetings with the Vice President of the World Bank, Obi Ezekwesili who informed the Malawi delegation that the World Bank will work as fast as they could to get resources flowing into Malawi.
According to Ministry of Finance statement, Ezekwesili pointed out that there was a need to do a quick operation budget support.
The World Bank vice president organised a round table meeting with donors who support Malawi to get a sense of the support that could quickly be available.
Present at the Round Table meeting were the World Bank the co-host with Malawi, the IMF, Norway, The European Union, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, African Development Bank, Ireland, Iceland and the African Union.
"The donors at the Round Table meeting showed a lot of goodwill and were ready and eager to help Malawi," reads the statement.
Lipenga assured the delegates that President Banda was determined to implement economic and governance reforms that would address all the concerns that damaged Malawi's relations with development partners.
"President Banda is a lady of integrity, warmth and humour. She is close to the people and she is open to advice. She is committed to implementing the necessary reforms in governance and economic management that are required to underpin sound management," the statement quotes Lipenga to have told the gathering.
Aside from the IMF negotiations and World Bank Meeting, the Minister also had bilateral meetings with the Millennium Challenge Corporation's two Vice Presidents, the UK Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell, and the Permanent Secretary for DFID, the African Development Bank President, United States Under Secretary of State, and the Norwegian Minister of International Development.
"At each of these meetings as well as at the Roundtable Meeting Minister gave a detailed explanation of the comprehensive package that President Banda had approved for addressing Malawi economic challenges, and appealed for immediate help for the package in the form of resources for fuel importation, social protection and balance of payments and budget support," reads the statement.
It said the Vice President of MCC told the Malawi delegation that he will be travelling to Malawi in few days to discuss with President Banda and Senior Government officials on the Compact.
"The MCC were optimistic and supported the actions that Her Excellency President Joyce Banda has already taken towards good governance.