Thursday, 11 August 2011

Malawi devalues currency

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has previously refused to consider devaluing the Malawian currency because he said it would hurt the poor but the Reserve Bank on Tuesday announced that the kwacha will now move to 167 to the dollar, from the rate of 150 to the dollar at which it had been fixed for several years. The move is an attempt to restore an IMF fund intended to buffer the country from the effects of foreign exchange shortages - one of the concerns of protesters who have given the government until 17 August to improve the situation or face further mass action.

Action will also be taken to more closely control foreign currency and apparently INGOs:
Ligoya [governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi] said the central bank had introduced new tough measures, including requiring all international non-governmental organisations to disclose their funding and file quarterly statements from September 1. In addition, all payments for tourism accommodation are to be made in foreign currency and operators will be required to submit to the central bank monthly reports on forex transactions. “People have been misusing and externalising foreign exchange, costing the country a lot of forex. This must stop,” he said. He said he knew of one NGO which received $60 million in a year but had no records with a commercial bank.

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