Malawi Millennium Development Trust (MMD) has outlined key areas they expect to make a proposal in the next United States Government-funded compact grant.
Speaking during a media sensitisation workshop on Malawi Compact II development process, design and progress in Blantyre on Thursday, MMD head Dye Mawindo said the prospective compact will focus on challenges to do with access to land and low investments in agriculture and high market transaction costs.
He said MMD had included macroeconomic stability in its initial proposal, but the area has since been left to the Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund.
Said Mawindo: “Under land, we are looking at secure title and that we want city councils and government to collect revenues above the current 16 percent because if they are able to collect more ground rents, government and city councils will have resources to install infrastructure.
“After the first compact, we are hoping the second compact will see Malawi getting some funding to be invested in access to land and agriculture and transport to markets.”
He said MMD expects that towards the end of next year, government and Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC), a US Government agency, will go to the negotiating table.
In the second compact, MMD will be working in at least three districts in the country.
To be eligible, MMD looked at the district that will have to be principally agricultural with good rains and water bodies for irrigation from which the number was reduced from 28 to 15.
Another criteria was on roads and whether they would produce best results for the country where the number was further trimmed to eight districts.
Now, plans are underway to bring in a consultant for feasibility studies, which will identify the road and find the three eligible districts.
“After the feasibility studies, by June or July next year, MCC will give us an indication on whether they have resources to finance the chosen roads,” he said.
The new compact was approved in September 2018 after successful implementation of the $350.7 million (about K257 billion) energy compact locally implemented and managed by Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-M).
Through the MCC energy compact, capacity at Bunda sub-station was doubled, a 132 kilovolts (kV) overhead transmission line from Nkhoma to Bunda Turn-off was erected and consruction of two 400/132 kV power transmission lines has since been completed.
The compact has also added 12 megawatts (MW) following the rehabilitation of Nkula A Hydro Power Station to increase from 24MW. It also covered administrative reforms in the power sector to improved efficiency at Escom and Mera.
USA Embassy public affairs officer Douglas Johnstone said the change of government in the USA will not have a significant change on foreign policy towards Africa and that they expect the MCC compact to continue.
He urged Malawi government to continue on good path of combating corruption and empowering the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Office of Ombudsman to hold public officials accountable.