During the official opening of National Bank of Malawi (NBM) headquarters in Blantyre, President Joyce Banda announced the impending formation of a unit to monitor progress of projects.
I have forgotten where she said the unit would be. However, it will be expected to produce a report every quarter on the progress that will be made.
Members of the civil society will be encouraged to seek information on what should be done to get things moving.
Though the nitty-gritty is yet to be spelt out, the idea is welcome. In essence, it is a species of what in business management is known as management by objective (MBO) as conceived by the late American management guru Dr Peter F Drucker.
If you start a project without clearly stating the time frame you risk doing what could have been done in six months.
This will not be the first time for such a consultative body to be set up. In 1966, first president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda set up a development committee which he chaired and the late Aleke Banda was his vice-chairperson.
Malawi was inspired by the National Development Council in Britain formed to re-invigorate the countryâ€™s economy in years it was being referred to as the â€˜SickÂ Man of Europeâ€™.
But why the National Development Council and our consultative committee were abolished is a mystery to me.
Former president Bakili Muluzi also formed a kind of consultative committee or council in which officers and members of the business community met from time to time.
It did not meet many times before it died.
President Joyce Banda was inspired by the set-up in South Africa and Rwanda. Hopefully, she will be given the opportunity to find out more about the models of Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.
Those managing a national economy can borrow some useful techniques from the business sector. Companies which want to expand their enterprises start by asking questions such as: Where are we now? What type of personnel and equipment do we require to reach our goals?
There must be an institution which should be headed by a senior officer, if not the President then the Vice-President. The council which Kamuzu set up did not last because some of the ministers who were members were feeling uncomfortable to be bossed over by a youth, bright though he was. All the ministries and ministers with developing projects should accept without questioning instructions from the unit.
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who transformed Singapore from the Third World to the First World once said he was able to develop the country because he only engaged talented people and those above average.
It is such people who changed Singapore. There is the nub. The success of any organisation, big or small, begins and ends with the quality of the employees.
People operating the unit should be technocrats whose tenure of office should not be subjected to the tides of politics.
The President expressed the national anxieties about unwanted guests or illegal immigrants. When we say we need foreign direct investment, we mean the investment which will complement not supplant that which is already taking shape.
We have local people operating small businesses such as retail shops, minibuses and barber shops. We do not need foreigners to come and do these things.
Of course, we may need restaurants to cater for tourists with exotic foods.
Where foreigners supplant local businesses, unemployment problem worsens.
When the late Emperor Haile Selassie was in charge of Ethiopia, we had no problems of Ethiopian refugees in this country.
Time and time again these days we come across glossy advertisements of the development projects taking place in Ethiopia and we get the impression that the economy there is healthier than ours.
So, what forces the Ethiopians to trek all the way from the Horn of Africa to this part and then get drowned in Lake Malawi?
Illegal immigrants from countries that breed suicide bombers should be watched with extra care in case they come to disturb our tranquillity. The murders raging in northern Nigeria are being formed by terrorists north of the Sahara.
When wealth is in the hands of people such as Bill Gates, who fund humanitarian and scientific projects, human happiness multiplies. Those from countries who use their enormous wealth to export terrorism to other countries should be kept out of our country.