In the year just gone, the National Planning Commission (NPC) remained pro-active in planning for the successor to Vision 2020.
One of the major tasks undertaken by the institution, established through an Act of Parliament in 2017, was the review of Malawi’s first long-term national development plan as well leading the formulation of the successor vision, National Transformation 2063.
For a long time after gaining independence in 1964, Malawi’s development plans have been guided by short to medium-term plans, which included 10-year Statement of Development Policies.
Fast forward to November 19 2019, NPC, through a consulting firm, Premier Consult Limited, disseminated findings of the results of a review of the document.
The findings showed that Vision 2020 failed to achieve most of its key aspirations.
Despite the country making some strides in some indicators, the country failed to meet most of the targets with the performance being under-par and below world’s average, in some instances.
The review findings also exposed Malawi’s inability to achieve a middle-income status with a per capita income of $1 000 (about $740 000) per year as aspired by Vision 2020
“During Vision 2020, Malawi has not moved from an importing and consuming nation into a producing and exporting nation. The poor performance is a reflection of low productivity and weak value addition, especially in agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries and transport,” said Premier Consult Limited proprietor and lead consultant Oliver Saasa.
NPC director general Thomas Chaghalala Munthali notes that Vision 2020 was generally ‘not smart’, adding that national capacity on the ground did not fully support implementation of the plan.
He said there were also weaknesses with the national monitoring and evaluation system.
Munthali said on a positive note, Malawi has seen an increase in transport infrastructure despite poor quality in certain instances, an increase in ICT access, improvement in the literacy rate, increased access to safe drinking water and reduction in under-five and maternal mortality rates.