Malawians challenged to move into ‘serious’ MW2063 implementation now or forget it!

National Planning Commission (NPC) Director General Dr. Thomas Chataghalala Munthali says it is high time Malawians moved “into serious implementation” of the Malawi 2063 (MW2063) development agenda, warning that merely having a plan on the table will not help the country to achieve its aspirations.

Munthali sounded the warning in his keynote address at the second edition of the Partnership Conversation Series (OMPCS), which was held at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.

Malawi’s premier financial service provider, Old Mutual (Malawi) Limited, organized the tailor-made event to enhance partnerships and conversations that would propel development, shared value and mindset change.

Participants to the Old Mutual Partnership Conversation Series (back to camera) following a panel discussion

In his keynote address titled ‘The Rise of Young Entrepreneurs in Malawi: The Role of Partnerships Towards Sustainable Youth Development’, Munthali said MW2063 vision could be doomed for failure if Malawians do not move into action.

“As we all agree, talking is cheap. Having a vision is one thing because it is what it is – a vision. It requires operationalization,” he said.

At this point, Munthali challenged the youth to take advantage of their larger population to spearhead the implementation of the development blueprint.

He observed that nearly 80 percent of Malawi’s population is below the age of 35 years and that this creates the potential for them to harness a demographic dividend – which usually results when there is a larger number of people in the working age group as opposed to dependents.

Munthali stressed that at a time when Malawi is facing twin challenges of acute forex shortage and nonexistent fiscal space, which have both plunged the country into huge debt, partnerships are hence a necessary evil.

“Like them or not, but let us get into them because if we don’t put our minds together and agree to partner, our survival as individual units will be in the line of fire – one trigger, then we are all dead. Make no mistake about it,” he said.

Panelists discussing partnerships issues in Blantyre

On her part, Old Mutual Malawi’s Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Edith Jiya, said her institution introduced the partnership conversation series with the aim of bringing together key stakeholders to discuss how partnerships can grow and help to achieve sustainable growth within all sectors of life.

Jiya said partnerships are critical in bringing together public and private sectors to have discussions, plan and agree on a path that can help the society.

“The youth have the ideas and the experienced people have the finances. And there are a lot of people that have the capabilities, the financial institutions, how do these all come together to create something that benefits Malawi as a whole. But I can assure Malawians that as Old Mutual we are working on different programs in order to encourage partnerships among all sectors and we are appealing to other organizations to also come in and do their part,” she said.

The panelists at the event included Dr. Muthali, who was also the Guest of Honour, William Mwanza of Private Sector Specialist at International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, Tawonga Manda who is the Chairperson of Old Mutual Foundation Trust and Professor Nancy Chitera, the Vice Chancellor of Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS).

Others were Mayamiko Nkoloma, Founder and Director of iMoSyS and Rodrick Chataika is the Chief Executive Officer at Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (SMEDI).

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