United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says the human development conditions in Malawi are weak despite the country registering improvements in the human development index (HDI).
In its Malawi National Human Development Report 2021published on April 6 2022, UNDP, however, says improvements registered over the years give hope for the country to make further strides.
Reads the report in part: “From the analysis, the human development conditions in Malawi are weak, as revealed by the low national, regional and district HDI values.
“Malawi’s current HDI value [0.483] is below the average of 0.513 for countries in the low human development category and below the average of 0.547 for sub-Saharan Africa.”
UNDP observes that although Malawi is heralded for formulating good and sound policies and strategies for the socio-economic development of the country, the ability to implement is limited by several factors, including inadequate financial resources.
“The fragility of Malawi’s economy due to its dependence on rain-fed agriculture has contributed to the limited achievement of sustainable economic growth and development.
“These have negatively affected the country’s ability to sustain high levels of economic growth, let alone, improving the living standards of its citizens,” says UNDP.
UNDP data shows that in 1990, Malawi had an HDI value of 0.333, which has improved to a current HDI value of 0.483 in 2019, as estimated in the 2020 global Human Development Report.
In his accompanying statement to the report, UNDP resident representative Shigeki Komatsubara observes that there has been a growing recognition of the importance of ownership and involvement of citizens in the development process.
He said the most recent policy document, the Malawi 2063 (MW2063) and its first 10-year implementation plan (MIP 1) have embraced inclusive stakeholders’ participation, at the national and local levels, in delivering sustainable growth and development.
The Malawi 2063, which is the long-term development framework for the country, aims at building an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialised upper middle-income country by 2063.
“This report, which focuses on a district-level approach to human development in Malawi, gives significant recognition to the need to have strong foundations of sustainable human development at the grassroots levels if citizens are to enjoy long and healthy lives and have the capability to actively participate and contribute to the development process of their country,” said Komatsubara.
Last month, economic and business experts expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of Malawi Vision 2063, arguing that the country is good at designing good strategies but bad at implementation.
However, responding to the observations, National Planning Commission director of knowledge and learning Joseph Nagoli said the country needs mindset change for the successful implementation of the plan.
He further urged the academia and the business community to join government in implementing the visions’ efforts.