A National Planning Commission review of the five-year Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III has shown that the country has achieved only 31 percent of national development targets in the past two and half years of implementation.
Vice-President Saulos Chilima has since said the dismal performance should rejuvenate energies for better output in the remaining years of the MGDS III which expired in 2022.
Speaking during the virtual launch of the review report yesterday, the Veep committed that the Tonse Alliance government will continue with national projects, even those initiated by past regimes aimed at transforming the country.
Said Chilima: “The performance of the MGDS III at 31 percent should move to at least attain 90 percent in coming years because in the process, the blueprint will be aligned to the National Transformation 2063.
“If we are to change economic fortunes of this country, we have to think long term. We have seen that short term thinking has worked to satisfy politician’s egos.”
In the MGDS III, Chilima noted that there are too many flagship projects, some that do not make sense to qualify being flagship projects hence challenged the National Planning Commission to narrow down the projects to remain with only those which are transformative in nature.
He expressed delight that despite resource constraints, Malawi was registering progress in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a possibility of attaining 19 out of the 33 targets.
Yesterday’s review follows an analysis by the of the performance of the national development blueprint to ascertain what worked and not in the past two and half years of implementation and to map the best way forward.
Chilima said the review has shown failures in the conception, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, hence, called for all public, private, civil society organisations, development partners to work together.
On his part, National Planning Commission chairperson Richard Mkandawire said to drive the national transformation agenda, there is need for political commitment. He hailed the new administration for showing support to the commission to redefine the country’s long-term vision.
He said: “The incoming new vision 2063 will be inclusive of all sectors in the economy. We trust that any political regime that comes will adopt the vision for transformation.
“We need strong political leadership that addresses governance challenges that have bedeviled the country for many years.”
The report strongly recommends joint planning and implementation at the sector level and revamping the Sustainable Development Goals as a top priority and provide for joint stakeholder periodic reviews.
United Nations resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres said despite the implementation challenges, there was a positive indication of progress in the attainment of some SDG indicators.
She called for participatory development where young people and women who account the majority of the population are involved in decision making.
MGDS III is the third in the series of MGDS development plans which begun in 2005 as the medium-term strategies for operationalising Vision 2020.