President Lazarus Chakwera has challenged Malawians to assume full and personal responsibility in the agenda to transform the social and economic strata of the country.
Chakwera, who made the remarks at the inaugural National Development Conference in Lilongwe on Thursday, stressed that the journey towards the attainment of Agenda 2063 – a new development vision- requires collective efforts.
“Reaching that goal is a task for all of us, not just the government. In fact, my mission as President is to leverage the government in service to the people so that the citizens themselves have the capacity to build a new Malawi. My mission is to see the government move away from making citizens beggars to making citizens bigger,” he said.
Chakwera said the conference should mark the beginning of the much-desired transformation.
“A gathering like this cannot just focus on the new kind of nation we must build for ourselves. We must also focus on the new kind of citizen we ourselves must be if we are ever going to build such a nation.
“A gathering like this should be like looking in the mirror to take a long hard look at ourselves and denounce all the toxic things we have come to believe about ourselves. A gathering like this is an opportunity for us to reframe the story we tell ourselves about who we are and what we can do. A gathering like this should open our eyes to see that whatever we lack in development as a nation, we lack not because some other nation did not give it to us or because it is beyond our reach, but because we as citizens have not built it,” he stated .
“We already know what kind of nation we must build, for that is what Vision 2020, Vision 2063, the MDGs, and SDGs are there for. That is what the National Planning Commission, which has done excellent work in bringing us together here, is there for. That is what the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development under the watch of our Vice-President is there for. That is what our national policy documents and governing manifestos are there for. What we lack is a national resolve to move these things from our shelves and conference tables and turn them into reality,” he added.
Chakwera further stated that a big part of the problem Malawi faces is that its citizens often see themselves as small and poor; mere mere dreamers instead of being fulfillers of what they dream.
“Too often we see ourselves as mere designers, but the time has come to see ourselves as the makers of what we design. Too often we see ourselves as mere planners, but the time has come to see ourselves as the developers of what we plan. Too often we see ourselves as mere complainers, but the time has come to see ourselves as the fixers of what we gripe about. If we want a new Malawi, we must accept that it is we who must build it with our own resources.
“A new Malawi is not a gift to be received by a check from abroad, but a goal to be reached by a resolve from ourselves,” he said.
NPCorganised a two National Development Conference to see the way forward on industrialisation and urbanisation among others.
The executive director for NPC Thomas Munthali also hinted in his presentation that the country cannot develop if people may continue with the spirit of pulling each other down.
He said NPC conducted national wide consultations and what is emerging is that Malawians yearn for wealth creation through national transformation.
“This may be achieved by moving away from poverty alleviation to wealth creation. This centers on mindset change,” he said.
NPC chairperson Professor Richard Mkandawire said from the consultations, it is clear that the new vision will be youth driven and anchored on wealth creation and self reliance.
He said the conference is aimed at validating emerging development issues and that time has come for Malawians to pitch a path that will be inclusive and people centred.
The new National Transformation 2063 has three key development pillars namely: 1. Agriculture productivity and commercialisation 2. Industrialisation (includes mining) 3. Urbanisation (includes tourism).
The three pillars have seven enablers as follows: 1. Mindset change (Includes a positive value system 2. Effective governance systems (Includes active citizen engagement) 3. Enhanced public sector performance 4. Private sector dynamism 5. Human capital development (Gender sensitive and includes and includes family planning) 6. Economic infrastructure (Includes ICT, transport and energy) 7. Environmental sustainability.
Malawi is expected to begin walking another mile of vision 2063 after the expiry of vision 2020. The second mile will see to it that the country achieves the Malawi Development Goals (MDG’s) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :