Mindset change needed for Malawi to develop – NPC

The National Planning Commission (NPC) says there is a need for mindset change among people in the country in order for Malawi to develop.

NPC commissioner Phillip Madinga made the remarks at the end of the two-day National Development Conference which was held in Lilongwe from Thursday to Friday.

During the conference, the NPC brought experts to review the national development plans and strategies as well as to validate new vision, pillars and enablers that are emerging as part of the Vision 2063 which is being developed.

Participants at the conference

Madinga said one of the key messages that came through the conference was how there can be mindset as the citizens envision the future for Malawi.

“The key issue that was raised I think is about mindset change. I think that theme has come out consistently throughout, how do we become active citizens, how do we as Malawians stop being spectators because it’s not the donors, it’s not anyone who going to come and implement.

“If you look at countries that have managed to develop, those countries have done it themselves in their countries.  So I think one of the key things that have come through is mindset change and I think this is a call to all Malawians out there that it is not about the President and the Vice President but it is about all Malawians coming together. The vision that’s coming out which were calling National Transformation 2063 can only be realised if we as Malawians do it ourselves,” said Madinga.

On key pillars and enablers that the conference has agreed upon, Madinga said the stakeholders agreed on strengthening of public governance systems, youth empowerment, wealth creation and other elements that will enable the growth of the country’s economy.

There was also a consensus that the national development requires close collaboration and coordination of all the partners from government, non-governmental organization, civil society, developmental partners, faith and traditional leaders and the general public to actively participate in all national development initiatives with high patriotism and hard work.

“So the key vision which came through is about wealth creation and inclusive growth but when we consulted together with our partners, one of the things from the vision point of view that we got feedback on is that it needs to be youth driven so the vision is really about inclusiveness and wealth creation,” he said.

He noted that wealth creation is anchored by three pillars which are agriculture commercialization, industrialization – including mining – and urbanisation which includes tourism.

Madinga added that the three pillars are interlinked but for Malawi to deliver on all these pillars there are enablers which include mindset change, human development and effective governance systems.

“The other enablers are our infrastructure, ICT, energy and Transport. These enablers will enable us to deliver the pillars but in turn to deliver on our vision that we have set up,” said Madinga.

The Development Conference which started on 27 August up to 28 August, 2020 was organized by the National Planning Commission and was opened by President Lazarus Chakwera.

It was Malawi’s first ever National Development Conference and it is a by-product of nationwide consultations conducted by the National Planning Commission.



One Comment

  1. This is truly the only way that this country can develop. However, you can’t ask or simply tell people to change their mindset. You have to implement or introduce a system that changes the people’s mindset, by legislative means.

    For instance, you can’t simply tell a person not to urinate in public. People do it all the time. The best way to change their mindset is to improve and develop our infrastructure by introducing public restrooms, then introducing a law outlawing the the act. Then enforcing that law. Over time, people’s mindset would change.

    The problem is that our law enforcement is underfunded and also corrupt. The government spends money on the Police and Army and yet we really don’t see what these two are doing. What if we dissolved the police or integrated the Police with the Army that way we only spend on one body? The problem of under funding would instantly be eliminated here. Switzerland has an Army, which also acts as the police in times of peace.

    Finally, we’ll have to leave some of the cultural practices behind if we have to advance intellectually. We’d have to do away with chieftainships and introduce proper local governments, which would work based on constitutional law and not based on emotion.

    There’s a lot to be done for sure. Even some of the agencies under the executive branch might have to be moved or revised because we have seen how easy it easy for heads of state to abuse their powers.

    We ultimately have to create a system where all three branches of government operate on equal footing where no one should be afraid of anyone, but respect the law.

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