Chikaonda says development council is non-partisan: JB focus on ‘game changers’

Group Chief Executive for Press Corporation Limited, Professor Matthews Chikaonda, who was appointed by President Joyce Banda to be chair of High Level Development Council (HLDC) has described the council as independent and non-partisan.

The council comprises 24 members which include Abdul Gaffar Jakhura, Blessings Chinsinga, Paramount Chief Kyungu, Dr Charles Mwansambo, Sam Kakhobwe, Dr Bruce Munthali, Professor Richard Mkandawire and Reverend Patrick Semphere.

Chikaonda speaking after the council’s meeting with President Banda on Thursday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, said the strategic guidance is to improve livelihoods to make a difference to people’s lives.

“The council will have to come up with a master development plan for Malawi. This council will advise government of the day and future governments,” he said.

Members of High Level Development Council with President Banda at Sanjika Palace
Members of High Level Development Council with President Banda at Sanjika Palace

The council meets on January 27 to look at the country’s development plans and will call for The All Inclusive National Conference in early March.

But, according to Chikaonda,  the council will intensify its work after general elections.

In her remarks, President Banda justified  the establishment of the council formed on January 9 2014, observing that currently there is a gap between development plans and implementation, a problem the council would help to solve.

“Institutional development plans have lacked institutional ownership to remind government to remain focused on the long-term perspectives as planned even though situations may be difficulty,” said Banda.

She said good political and economic governance is a pre-requisite for economic and social development.

“Our national development agenda needs to be re-organised in order to strike a strategic balance that will harness our development aspirations,” she said.

“Our special focus should be on enhancing rural transformation including wealth and job creation, hunger reduction, improving living conditions in our villages and the role of the private sector, “Banda said.

The President said focus  should be on “game changers”  and “paradigm shifts” that will make a difference in fast tracking socio economic transformation of Malawi economy.

Banda said the mandate of the Council is to take a broad, cross-cutting, independent and critical view of Malawi’s development needs, to help define the Malawi that we seek to achieve over the next 50 years; prescribe the necessary and sufficient conditions for achieving the desired outcomes; and clearly outline the path and implementation; monitoring and evaluation strategies to achieve those objectives and the aspirations of Malawians.

Chikaonda speaking at a Sanjika meeting with President Banda
Chikaonda speaking at a Sanjika meeting with President Banda

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