Professor Peter Mutharika was speaking in Lilongwe during the launch of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy—MGDS III which he said represents the collective dreams and aspirations of Malawians.
“Malawi is not a poor country. We are a rich country with many poor people. But we have everything that we need to take our people from poverty to prosperity. Whatever nation God created in the world, he gave us all three things. He gave us land and water for our natural resources; the people to work on our natural resources; and the mind to think of how to use our resources.
The only real difference that exists between developed nations and underdeveloped nations is how we think. Today, we have put together our minds on a common strategy for taking this country to the next level of development,” said Professor Mutharika.
The MGDS III will be implemented in five key areas of agriculture and water, climate change management, education skills development, transport and ICT infrastructure and health and population.
“Over and above these priorities, we have also included other sectors that support our priority areas. For example, we target gender balancing, youth development and the welfare of elders and persons with disability. We are building an equitable society where opportunity is not defined by sex, age and disability,” said the President.
Professor Peter Mutharika said this will ensure that Malawi becomes a producing and exporting country.
“We want to become a productive nation by increasing agricultural productivity and sustainability with better water management and irrigation. We are moving beyond rain-fed subsistence farming to make commercial agriculture the catalyst for industrialization.
In the making of a productive nation, we also need young men and women with skills to create their own industries and businesses. We need education for socio-economic development and industrial growth. We are already building community technical colleges and implementing other projects to achieve this goal. Above all, we need an educated and healthy people to make a productive nation,” added the Malawi leader.
President Mutharika further said for Malawi to be a competitive country, there must be continued increasing energy generation as well as improved transport and ICT infrastructure.
Professor Peter Mutharika however said his government has put in place measures to ensure that there is continuity in the implementation of the MGDS III for the benefit of Malawians.
“My Government has put in place a mechanism that will ensure policy stability, continuity and independence. We have established the National Planning Commission which will spearhead implementation of this Strategy. The Commissioners have been confirmed by Parliament and their work has begun. This is a major public sector reform achieved,” he added.
The Malawi Leader also said the strategy which will run for five years up to 2022 is in harmony with a number of international protocols, Malawi has ratified with UN affiliate bodies as well as SADC, COMESA and the African Union-AU. The President then commended the UNDP, EU, UNICEF and other international agencies for supporting the strategy.
The MGDS III draws from previous development strategies, namely, Vision 2020, Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy and MGDS II. At the same time, it is also a collective product of the private sector, civil society organisations, faith-based groups, the national assembly, political parties and the academia.