Malawi’s development programme framework, Vision 20-20 is expiring just in the next few months and National Planning Commission (NPC) is in the process of having its successor which will emphasise on inclusive wealth creation from focus on poverty reduction.
Vision 2020, the economic road map which was created in 1998 was to guide Malawi, by the year 2020, to be secure, democratically mature, environmentally sustainable, self-reliant, with equal opportunities for an active participation for all, having social services, vibrant culture and religious values and a technologically driven middle-class economy.
At an interactive meeting with Malawi’s Editors Forum at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre, NPC Director General Dr. Thomas Chataghalala Munthali sad after independence in 1964, Malawi’s development plans were guided by short to medium terms of 10-year policies and in the multiparty era it was felt important to a long-term development framework upon which to ensure continuity beyond any political party regime.
“In general, Vision 2020 largely remains relevant today but its attainment has been challenging due to lack of clear milestones for derailing progress and inadequate political will,” Munthali said.
“For example, national budgets have often not been aligned to medium-term development framework; policies remain unimplemented and those tasked to implement the Vision have not be held accountable.
“Other challenges include inadequate implementation capacities that included finance, human resource and infrastructure, unfavorable investment conditions which has increased the cost of doing business as well as natural and trade related exogenous factors that are often beyond Malawi’s control such as floods, drought and other disasters.
“Attainment of the Vision 2020 was largely premised on structural transformation such as movement of labour from low productivity sectors like agriculture into more modern sectors of economy like manufacturing and productive sectors.
“It entailed making agriculture more commercial and efficient so the sector could feed the population and provide raw materials for the agriculture industry and also entailed a service sector that indeed services the manufacturing and agriculture sector.”
He said since the Vision is coming to an end now a room has been provided to define a fresh development pathway based on well researched evidence and consultative process and hence the creation of NPC, established through an Act of Parliament.
Its mandate is to develop long and medium term development plans based on the country’s comparative advantages and resources potential and to coordinate, oversee implementation of the plans and as a think tank to support government in evidence-based planning and implementation — including cabinet and parliamentary briefs on critical development issues.
He said for the next Vision, there’s need to link it to the continental aspirations manifested in Agenda 2063 of a prosperous, integrated/united and peaceful continent — all elements of which remain relevant to Malawi.
“Hence the proposal of National Transformational 2063, which entails mindsets towards more positive thinking and ethos of hard work, patriotisms and integrity, structured economy towards value adding and industrialisation with new focus from poverty reduction to wealth creation,” said Munthali, who was accompanied by some of his commissioners.
The Commission comprises chairperson Prof. Richard Mkandawire, Dr. Evance Mwathunga, Philip Madinga, Mercy Masoo and Secretary to the Treasury as vice-chairperson by virtue of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development being the current policy holder for development in Malawi.
Dr. Munthali, the former director of knowledge and learning at the African Capacity Building Foundation — a specialised agency of the African Union — assumed office of director general in March this year.
He was responsible for coordination of development efforts across African Union member states aimed at meeting the continent’s socio-economic transformation agenda goals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :