AFRODAD, in partnership with OXFAM, will conduct a Media Training on Debt Management on the 29th and 30th May 2019 in Malawi under the theme: Partnering with Media on Debt
Management for Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Africa.
The training is aimed at sensitising media practitioners on the implications of public and publicly guaranteed debt on human rights, poverty, inequality and macroeconomic performance. Trained media practitioners are expected to become champions in reporting on debt management and related issues. Increased media reporting on debt management and related issues particularly debt contraction, debt records and analysis is vital in raising an informed voice and demand for accountability among the citizenry. A one and half day training workshop will be held for selected journalists from various private and public media houses. AFRODAD will establish an alumni of journalists post the training workshop for sustaining continuous feedback and information supply for their informed reporting on debt management and related issues.
At the backdrop of the Media Training on Debt Management, it is critical to know that Malawi has accumulated debt at a fast rate over the recent years, and the country’s debt level is high compared to its SSA peers. Since the HIPC and MDRI debt relief in 2006, Malawi’s debt has more than doubled, and now stands at 54.3% of GDP compared to 26.7% of GDP in 2007, just after the debt relief. This is one of the fastest pace of accumulation of debt amongst countries which received debt relief. Although all baseline external debt burden indicators remain below their indicative thresholds, public external debt remains vulnerable to exogenous shocks, notably shocks to export revenues, the exchange rate and climate shocks. The government has continued to seek new lines of credit from lenders without clearing current arrears. As indicated on the perpetuating gross domestic debt (MK206.6 billion at the end of 2012 to MK1.1 trillion at the end of 2017).
- An increased understanding, uptake and dissemination of debt information amongst Malawian citizens;
- Improved reporting of debt and public finance management issues in Malawi media;
- An increased demand for transparency and accountability on the use of tax payers’ money by citizens from the solution holders at both local and national levels; and
- A database of journalists committed to report on Public Private Partnerships for economic development.