Britain tips Malawi on how to get out of poverty in 25 years

British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin has advised Malawi to stick to its plans, show more seriousness to fix its problems and promote national endeavours regardless of a government in power, if the country is to achieve sustainable growth in the next 25 years.

Nevin said this is Malawi’s capital Lilongwe during the cerebration of the birthday anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II of his country.

He said at the moment his government supports the country’s emphasis on developing the private sector and various trade initiatives which he said fits with the UK’s Presidency of the G8 this year, but it was important that Malawi strives to follow-up on various initiatives and deliver.

“Many people can rattle off the same list of challenges that Malawi needs to fix. But we need more seriousness to actually fix them,” said Nevin.

British envoy Michael Nevin
British envoy Michael Nevin

He said at the moment the country was registering “green shots of optimism and determination” to move forward but there was need to capture and nurture such optimism to avoid the country being left behind others in the region.

“What vision and blueprint can all stakeholders agree for Malawi over the next 25 years or so that will deliver over 6 percent sustainable growth to reduce poverty and position Malawi as one of the success stories of Africa, less donor dependent, and able to contribute fully to regional and international issues?” said Nevin.

He said that 50 years after independence Malawi’s plans need to be in line with the African Union’s own plan for the future.

“2014 would be a symbolic time for Malawians to set a long-term agenda for Malawi. Perhaps post-election all stakeholders could come together to agree what that plan is, own it and promote it as a national endeavour with little deviation, no matter which government is in power,” said Nevin.

He also asked Malawi to ensure that the 2014 elections are well run, fair, free and credible.

He said this was critical for the country’s reputation as it takes over as SADC chairperson in August this year.

Nevin said for the UK, who wins the elections is of no significant but rather respectable results and a process that adheres to the rule of law.

He said: “Well run election will be important not just for Malawi’s reputation, but for SADC’s. Malawi will take over as the Chair of SADC.

“That will put Malawi at the forefront of efforts, along with regional partners, to resolve the issues that face SADC, including ensuring that political agreements are adhered to and that other elections due to be held in the region are kept to a high standard,”

Nevin said for a possible free, fair and safe, and well-run elections, freedom to campaign; freedom of the press, equitable access to the national broadcaster; responsible behaviour from all parties and their supporters, and no violence, intimidation or bribery, were the most important elements.

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