President Lazarus Chakwera has suspended all his international trips until march as part of cost-cutting measures following the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha.
Speaking during his national address on Wednesday night, Chakwera defended the devaluation saying the previous rate was not presenting the real value of the Kwacha. He noted that the devaluation is painful and people in the country need to make adjustments in spending hence he is setting an example by cutting trips.
The measures will be in place until the end of the financial year in March 2024.
Some similar austerity measures were also announced during the Covid pandemic but had limited impact as they were not strictly enforced.
The president asked the minister of finance to make provisions for a reasonable wage increase for all civil servants in the next budget review.
He also directed a reduction of income tax on individuals in the new budget so as to help workers whose incomes have lost value.
The president’s move comes as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a four-year credit facility for Malawi worth $174m (£140m), just days after the country devalued its local currency.
On Sunday, the Malawi Central Bank announced a 44% devaluation of the local currency, the kwacha.