Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has said there is need to increase the Public Private Partnership for the country to ably move forward and also stimulate the private sector considering that they are the engine of economic growth.
Chilima, who is also the Chairperson of Public Service Reform, spoke during a public lecture organized by Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) in Lilongwe Friday. The public lecture was also part of the Network’s annual general meeting.
He said it was high time Malawians changed their mind-set and adopt the “business unusual approach” for the country to development.
“We need to begin to be serious with life as a people. If we continue using the same template for development that we have used all along, this country will not move forward.
“Indeed, we must do things differently and better and, if we have to succeed, we must do them together as a nation,” said Chilima.
He further observed that an efficient and effective public service will only be possible if the public service will have the same high professional ethics and integrity that the Malawi public service was once known for.
The vice president also said while there are many strategies that have to be adopted, the country require moral reconstruction and high professional ethics institutions, particularly in the public service.
“This is an agenda that the public sector reforms will advance. It is an agenda that must happen and there is no going back. Public servants must, therefore, rise to the occasion.
“And, I appeal to various sections of our society to support His Excellency the President’s reform agenda. It is only then that this country will start developing on a sustainable basis,” he emphasized.
He then thanked Professor Thandika Mkandawire presenting an inspiring and motivating public lecture titled “Thinking about a Developmental State in Malawi”.
“If we talk about the agriculture sector, which is the major employer, you will notice that it is undergoing transformation as part of the ongoing public sector reforms.
“One such reform is the turning of the Green Belt Initiative into a holdings limited, a move that is expected to increase agricultural production, enterprise development and exports,” he told the gathering.
According to State Vice President, many people have equated development to the decline in unemployment, inequality and poverty while others have looked at development as a process that expands real freedoms that people enjoy.
The 1987 Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainable development as that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
“This tells us that there are a number of approaches to measuring development and hence a number of ways of classifying whether an entity is developing or not.
“For example, the World Bank uses scales as low, medium and high based on per capita income. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) uses classifications of least developed, developing and developed countries based on per capita income, exports and vulnerability to external shocks.
“But the question that all of us must be asking ourselves is: What is our collective role in making development happen as government, the academia, civil society, traditional leaders, religious leaders and individual Malawians?
“If you ask me this question, I would tell you that facilitating development in Malawi has been a preoccupation for leaders in Malawi for a long time. In post-political independence, the leadership has implemented policies which have a large foreign content,” he explained.
He then said while stable macro-economic conditions and high GDP growth are the objectives to achieve, the current administration is also mindful of the quality of that growth in terms of job creation and fostering equity.
Chilima said this is why government was establishing Community Colleges to train the youth in vocational skills so that they start small scale business to be self-reliant.
“I do believe that when people, especially young people, hold the destiny of their future in their hands they become less violent and are unlikely to be involved in illicit behavior, thereby contributing to national development,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :