By Tione Andsen – Mana.
Vice President, Dr Saulos Chilima has hinted that Malawi as a country should stop thinking of short-term implementation of its development agenda.
He made the observation Thursday at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe during the launch of Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS) III Mid-Term Review Report.
Chilima who doubles as Minister Responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms said such thinking often satisfies political egos at the expense of our children’s future.
“We need to inculcate a culture of continuing with development programmes and policies that are or have significant potential to transform the lives of Malawians. This is part of the public sector reforms that some of us championed which gave birth to the National Planning Commission (NPC),” he said.
Chilima reiterated 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.
He said government gives its full support to the NPC 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.
The Vice President when the new vision is launched, this MGDS III would 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.
“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,” Chilima added.
He said the solid foundations that would take us to the highway of inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance.
“It will be incumbent on all political parties to align their party manifestoes to it. The battle during elections will be on who is offering the best ‘how’ of meeting the people’s aspirations in the new vision,” Chilima explained.
The Vice President urged development partners to respect the country’s development plans and align their programmes to our 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,” he noted.
Chairperson of NPC Prof Richard Mkandawire said that a number of positive strides have been made by government and it’s implementing partners but there was still so much room for improvement.
“We believe that government and stakeholders will find this analysis important in accelerating individual efforts and ensuring that scarce resources bring about value for money as well as transformative and sustainable impacts on ordinary Malawians,” he said.
Mkandawire said Malawi was in the process of defining a new national vision for country, one that is leaning much towards an ‘inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance agenda’, and its implementation strategy, the ideals sought out by the MGDS III of a ‘productive, competitive and resilient nation’.
Director General of NPC, Thomas Munthali admitted that the country has failed in the implementation of its flagship projects.
“We had 21 projects in transport sector only two have been implemented. In the education sector, construction of primary schools was progressing well. There were many projects that do not deserve to be referred as flagships. At the end of the day resources were thinly spread,” he explained.