Vice President Saulos Chilima says Malawi has too many flagship projects which has led to spreading of resources so thinly such that many projects are not completed.
Chilima made the remarks on Thursday when he presided over the launch of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) lll Mid-Term Review Report at Bingu International Conference Center (BICC) in Lilongwe.
The Vice President proposed that resources should be prioritized on a few long-term development projects.
“As it stands, what is more noticeable is the fact that we have too many flagship projects, most of which do not even fit the title. This has led to spreading resources so thinly with most of them just initiated and dying a natural death. If these resources were prioritized to focus on just few impactful long-term development projects, the impacts could be felt within a short time in the lives of most Malawians,” said Chilima.
He urged the National Planning Commission, which is mandated to define the flagship projects for the country, to work closely with his Ministry of Economic Planning and Development to focus on impactful long-term projects.
On the MGDS lll Mid-Term Review Report, Chilima said the Report takes stock of the progress that has been made so far in the country and challenges encountered along the way.
He noted that in the report, government Ministries, Departments and Agencies have led the process in self-assessment which he said is a commendable display of how various government departments can effectively collaborate.
He advised that when the new Vision 2063 is launched, the MGDS III should 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 is the route we have to take as a country if we are to change economic fortunes of our country, we have to stop thinking short-term. Such thinking often satisfies political egos at the expense of our children’s future,” said Chilima.
He further said that the Tonse Alliance Government will give its full support to National Planning Commission as it embarks on a crucial journey of defining the next long-term development plan that has been widely consultative for a broad ownership.
“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. The battle during elections, therefore, will be on who is offering a manifesto that will meet the people’s aspirations in the new Vision,” he said.
In his remarks, National Planning Commission Chairperson Professor Richard Mkandawire said the MGDS lll have had a lot of shortfalls but there are also successful programs which need to be scaled-up.
“We need to capitalize on successful stories and see how best we can take them forward and we trust the government of Dr Lazarus Chakwera that it will support those potential successful stories,” he said.
He added that the Commission will seek continued support of the Chakwera government on the implementation of interventions identified by NPC.
According to Mkandawire, priorities identified by the NCP are defined through an inclusive process in which various sectors take part.
MGDS lll is the third in the series of MGDS development plans which begun in 2005 as the medium-term strategies for operationalizing Vision 2020. MGDS lll’s main focus is on building a productive, competitive and resilient nation.