President Lazarus Chakwera says Malawians already knows the kind of nation they must build but there is need to turn these plans into reality.
The Malawi leader was speaking today during the official opening of the 1st Annual Development Conference organized by the National planning commission at Bingu International Conference Center (BICC).
Chakwera said the gathering should open Malawians’ eyes to see that whatever the country lacks in development is not there because citizens have not built it.
He said planners and government employees should move from just making plans, but to also put them into action.
“We already know what kind of nation we must build, for that is what the Vision 2020, Vision 2063, the MDGs, and SDGs are there for. That is what the National Planning Commission, which has done excellent work in bringing us together here, is there for. That is what the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development under the watch of our Vice President is there for. That is what our national policy documents and governing manifestos are there for. What we lack a national resolve to move these from our shelves and conference tables and turn them into reality,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera also noted that it will be impossible to achieve economic and infrastructure development if the citizens’ mindset is not changed.
He said citizens have to move away from depending on Government handouts.
“A gathering like this should be like looking in the mirror to take a long hard look at ourselves and denounce all the toxic things we have come to believe about ourselves. A gathering like this is an opportunity for us to reframe the story we tell ourselves about who we are and what we can do,” said Chakwera.
The President further said that the task of building a nation is a developmental coin with two indispensable sides.
According to the Chakwera, on the one hand the task involves the development of a new kind of citizen and on the other hand the development of a new kind of nation.
“As a country we cannot develop fully by doing one without the other and it is certain that we cannot develop at all by neglecting both as we have done for a quarter of a century. I have observed that on these two sides, much has been said about the second. Even as this inaugural National Development Conference progresses, you will be hard pressed on every side to focus exclusively on the development of a new kind of nation,” he said
In his remarks, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi who is also Minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development Rt. Hon Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima commended the National planning commission (NPC) for organising the conference under the theme, ‘Beyond political freedom to inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance.
Chilima also indicated that his Ministry has a clear plan on how it will work with NPC.
“My Ministry of Economic Planning and Development will champion the implementation of the National plans and ensure that relevant policies are in place while NPC becomes the permanent home for defining the Country’s long and medium term development plans. Malawians it is indeed high time we went beyond political freedom to inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance,” said Chilima.
In his remarks, National Planning Commission Chairperson Professor Richard Mkandawire said from the consultations it is clear, that the new vision will be youth driven and anchored on wealth creation and self-reliance.
He said the conference is aimed at validating emerging development issues and that time has come for Malawians to pitch that will be inclusive and people centered.
The National Development Conference is taking place at BICC starting from today 27, August to 28 August 2020 and it is under the theme, Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self Reliance. The conference has been largely attended virtually.