As Malawi Parliament is meeting for the last time this year, I would urge them to focus more on bills that are going to affect the majority of Malawians and which will accelerate the development of this country.
Malawi has had a very good environment for development since it became independent about 50 years ago. However, the pace of development in Malawi has been slow. Some have said the country has failed to progress because we got independent when our capacity to develop our country in terms of knowledge, technology and leadership was below standard. Others put the blame on our colonial masters for brain drain and not providing us with enough resources for development, taking into account the resources they took out of our country during colonisation.
These arguments cannot carry weight if we start comparing what our colleagues in Mozambique have so far achieved from the time they got their independence to date and the situation they have been in. Mozambique got its independence from the Portuguese in 1975, and immediately after independence a civil war erupted which completely destroyed what the Portuguese had put in place in terms of infrastructure and the economy. It took 18 years for the civil war to end. Currently, the infrastructure development is growing very fast in Mozambique. The mining sector is creating a lot of jobs to the extent that the country is failing to meet its requirement in terms of labour force. There are more developments going on to the extent that their labour force is small.
Malawians do not have the spirit of developing their country. We have 365 days doing politics, which will not develop our country. I have never seen Malawi without politics since 2004. Many people in the village and even those working both in the public and private sector spend much of their time engaging in politics. They spend less time thinking of ways on how to develop the country.
Government needs to prioritise on improving the transport system. The Shire-Zambezi Waterway should not die a natural death. Let us continue engaging the Mozambican government and convincing them that the Shire-Zambezi Waterway would be the shortest route and cost effective to transport some of their coal and gas from Moartize.
As a country, why do we fail to borrow money from the international lending institution to develop the railway line from Limbe to Nsanje? Donâ€™t you think by engaging into this project, Malawi as a country can create more than 200 000 jobs, and by further developing the much publicised Nsanje World Inland Port, Malawi could create a further 200 000 jobs.
It is high time government thought of borrowing money from international lending institutional to construct our own Caborabbasa Dam at either Bangula or Makhanga in Nsanje and the other one in Salima. These projects will be environmentally friendly and at the same time, will create more jobs and reduce the flooding levels of Shire River and Lake Malawi, respectively. If completed, these projects will reduce or not completely remove the power blackouts being experienced in the country. This would further boost the mining and energy sectors in the country and attract further investors which would create more job opportunities which would also reduce drastically the unemployment rate in the country.Â
Do we really need consultants from England, USA and Japan to come here to give us these ideas? The answer is a big NO. These are the type of deliberations our members of Parliament need to be discussing and passing out authorisation for the government to borrow money for these projects to take place if Malawi is really willing to achieve its objective of stopping relying on donor funding for development.
This type of thinking is what is making our neighbours in Mozambique create more jobs for its people and at the same time develop their country.
It is a known fact that Western countries are struggling economically coupled with global warming. Angola gave a loan to its colonial master to support its failing economy.Â – The author is a management specialist focusing on community development.