National Planning Commission (NPC) says it will hold a development conference in April to get a wider array of Malawians and stakeholders to deliberate on the development future of the country.
NPC director general Thomas Chataghalala Munthali said in an interview on Tuesday that the commission’s ultimate goal is to have a developed Malawi that meets the socio-economic basic needs of every Malawian.
He said: “As you are aware, the country will be going to fresh polls soon, but the commission does not want Malawians to lose focus of the fact that democracy and the right to have the choice of who we want to govern on our behalf is a means and not an end in itself.”
The conference will be held at a time NPC, with the aid of other stakeholders, is crafting a successor document to Malawi’s first long-tern national development plan, Vision 2020, which expires this year.
Beyond political independence, Munthali said Malawians should be keen to have a country that is economically independent and self-reliant; hence, organising the conference.
He said participants will be Malawians represented by various umbrella groups mindful of gender, youth, and those with disabilities.
Said Munthali: “Included too will be political parties, all the government arms, our traditional and religious leaders, CSOs leaders, researchers/academia, media and private sector, development partners, inter alia.
“This conference is key in coming up with general consensus on the Malawi we want and the broad pillars that can operationalise aspirations of Malawians.”
He said the commission is there to coordinate the planning and overseeing the implementation of the plans, adding that the institution is guided by the belief in a multi-stakeholder approach in evidence-based planning.
Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara recently called for the country to move beyond supporting its people to barely survive.
He said a country that is able to mobilise enough resources from its own resource endowment is usually self-reliant as it finances its development agenda.
NPC, mandated to developing long and medium-term national development plans for Malawi as well as overseeing implementation of those plans, hopes that the conference will help identify the positive initiatives that can transform Malawi and move the country out of poverty trap. NPC was established through an Act of Parliament in 2017.