President Joyce Banda has assured Malawians that 2013 is the year of “breakthroughs and favour”, saying the economic revival will be achieved with wealth creation and poverty eradication as the key drivers for recovery.
In her address when opening the 44th Session of Parliament, she described 2013 as the year that demands all citizens to work hard to give birth to a “new Malawi.”
She said her government’s Economic Recovery Program (ERP) was designed “as a short and medium term strategy to attain economic growth through sustainable wealth creation in a quest to reduce poverty at levels.”
Banda said the economic recovery path her administration has taken is the only route to end the economic problems the country is facing, saying her administration is committed to attaining economic growth through sustainable wealth and job opportunity creation to reduce poverty at all levels.
But Council for Non-Governmental Organisation of Malawi (Congoma) chairperson Voice Mhone said President Banda has “failed to demonstrate real action on the ground.”
The Malawi leader, however, said ERP aims to provide Malawi with quick wins, diversify the structure of our economy and identify key sectors of economic growth.
Banda said Agriculture, Mining, Energy, Tourism, and Infrastructure, among other sectors, falls within the priority areas of her government.
The Malawi leader said the country as an agro-based economy; agriculture is bound to give Malawi “the quickest wins for our economy to turn around.”
In agriculture, the government strategy is to modernise and industrialize the sector to move from subsistence farming to managing farming as a business.
She also said tourism is one of the emerging sectors in Malawi and has potential to generate revenue, employment, improve infrastructure as well as conservation of wildlife and culture.
“It is for this reason we saw it wise to include tourism in the implementation of the ERP.
“Apart from generating revenue, creating employment, improving infrastructure, and promoting Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the sector has direct linkages with other sectors of the economy,” she said.
Banda said her government is creating a conducive environment to turn Malawi into a conference tourism destination.
“To realise this, an operator to manage the Bingu Conference Centre, the President Hotel and the Presidential Village is being engaged. Government also intends to upgrade the Bingu Conference Centre and Presidents Hotel into an integrated world class tourism destination,” she informed.
President Banda also disclosed that government is inviting serious investors to develop Cape McClear, Salima and Likoma Island Tourist Centres on Lake Malawi and promote water sport and marina on the lake of stars.
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