Vice-President Saulos Chilima says it remains government’s mission to move Malawi from aid dependence to trade and become an export-led economy rather than a net importer.
Speaking at the close of a two-day Cabinet retreat on Saturday in Lilongwe, he said sharing knowledge and experience with development partners such as United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) could help to push forward government’s development agenda.
Unctad organised a retreat to enhance ministers’ knowledge on their roles in improving the ailing economy.
Said Chilima: “Most of the countries that have developed have done so through investment and trade. Through trade, you open companies; you create employment opportunities; you manufacture products for export or sell locally and income generated is used for development.
“Through the knowledge and experiences shared, Malawi has gained new knowledge on how other countries have done and now it is up to us to prioritise and map the way forward on our development path.”
On his part, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe described the retreat as important and said, as a country, there is need to identify one thing that will be key for the country’s development and rally behind it.
He said the retreat focussed on case studies of Rwanda and Kenya.
Former president of African Development Bank (AfDB) Donald Kaberuka, a Rwandan national, shared key insights on how his country has developed economically since 1994.
“As Cabinet, we will discuss how to adopt the best practices,” said Gondwe.
Unctad secretary general MukhisaKituyi said it is incumbent upon all political leaders, civil society and academia to find common interest at the core of Malawi’s development agenda.