Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima says Malawi needs to stop thinking short-term if the country is to change economic fortunes.
Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, made the remarks when he launched the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) report at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Thursday.
The Vice President observed that short-term plans only work to satisfy the political egos of the few at the expense of the future of the next generations.
He said it is high time Malawi inculcated a culture of continuing with development programmes and policies that are or have significant potential to transform the lives of Malawians, stressing that this is part of the public sector reforms that gave birth to the National Planning Commission.
“Allow me to reiterate the Tonse Alliance government’s commitment to continue with development initiatives and other programmes started by the previous administration, so long they are impactful and in the best interest of the nation. It is therefore within this spirit that I accepted to grace this occasion even though whatever is being reported happened before the Tonse Alliance came in,” he said.
He assured that the Tonse Alliance government gives its full support to the National Planning Commission as it has embarked on a crucial journey of defining the next long-term development plan (vision) that has been widely consultative for broad ownership.
He added that it is encouraging to note that when the new vision is launched, the current MGDS III will be reviewed to ensure that it aligns to the new vision and that only initiatives that are found to be working or promising quick wins are retained and scaled-up.
According to Chilima, this will include transformative initiatives proposed by the new administration.
“The key word is transformative. The revised MGDS III will hence assume the important role of being the ‘accelerator’ to attainment of the new vision’s aspirations by laying the foundations for the first five years. Solid foundations that will take us to the highway of inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance. Once the new Vision is launched, it will be incumbent on all political parties to align their party manifestoes to it,” said the Veep.
He urged development partners to respect Malawi’s development plans and always align their programmes to the country’s national priorities.
“Basically, support us on our journey to self-reliance which Malawians themselves want. In the nascent stages we will need your support around building our capacities at all levels including for our budding Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs). Talking of capacities, one area that needs support is M&E systems and data availability. Good quality and timely data needs to be available at central and decentralized levels, disaggregated by gender,” said Chilima.
The NPC Director General Thomas Munthali admitted that the country has failed miserably in the implementation of flagship projects.
Munthali disclosed, for instance, that in the transport sector, out of 21 projects, only two have been implemented.
On the other hand, only one project of construction of primary schools is in progress just in the education sector.
“There are too many projects that do not deserve to be referred to as flagship, leading to spread of resources thinly,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :