Malawi is blessed with natural resources, good climate, peace and tolerant people.
As a nation, we need to take our development aspirations into our hands regardless of changes in political leadership.
Malawi2063, the long-term vision after the lackluster Vision 2020, is a good start.
The current administration has sustained national projects initiated by its predecessors to completion in line with the long-term goals vision championed by the National Planning Commission (NPC).
Before we throw a party for ourselves, do not forget that on March 31 1998, we launched Vision 2020 to turn Malawi into a democratically mature, environmentally sustainable, self-reliant and technologically-driven middle-income economy by 2020.
It was an impressive vision and other African countries not only marvelled at our planning ingenuity, but also borrowed a leaf and implemented it while we graduated into one of the world’s 10 poorest countries.
Most Malawians sighed with relief following the arrival of the NPC, which has already proved their mettle by formulating Malawi2063.
Reading the document, it gives deeper insights into where we are now and where we desire to be in 2063, the centenary of Malawi independence.
God willing, we would all love to be there to witness the fruition of the dream as well as the 100th Independence anniversary
However, we cannot stand here clapping at a piece of paper. That is just what it is. Implementation will mean taking one day at a time while heading in the right direction.
We need to keep in check every part of our society likely to defeat this vision.
How do we reach the Promised Land in 2063 when we keep selling our land to foreigners at breakneck speed?
How do we reach the desired destination when indigenous Malawians cannot access prime land because we price it too high for our citizens for the benefit of moneybags foreigners?
Who is buying the large farms in the country’s towns, cities and rural areas? Who is investing in all new business ventures created to accelerate the journey to 2063?
Ask yourself tough questions and you will realise that we wake up daily, hoodwinked that we are marching to the Promised Land when we are constantly shooting ourselves in the foot.
And this started a long time ago. When the government opened doors to mainland China, we were excited at the soft loan conditions compared to those prescribed by western powers.
But as we borrowed money from them, we also ‘imported’ their people who are not here to bake free samoosas for us.
They are not coercing anyone, we are giving them our country inch by inch every day—willingly being recolonised by the East.
When it comes to competition, construction as an example, what Chinese State companies are doing is simply predatory pricing.
They deliberately underprice to drive out competition in the long term. Once all competition is gone, they will increase their prices to recoup their losses. This will hurt our economy.
Malawi requires deliberate policies to protect companies owned by indigenous Malawians. We need to review land ownership laws, revisit pricing of land to local investors and give more power to the Competitive and Fair Trading Commission to curb predatory pricing.
Malawi needs to address this. Otherwise, Malawi 2063 will be just another glorified piece of paper like Vision 2020.
Future generations will view us as a generation that selfishly sold our country to the highest bidders.