By Tione Andsen-Mana
Malawi has made some noticeable improvement in ICT maternal and child health, sanitation, rural electrification, macroeconomic stability and many more in implementation of Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS) III half way the life span of the strategy.
The Vice President, Dr Saulos Chilima disclosed this Thursday at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe during the launch of MGDS III Mid-Term Review Report.
“We still have more work to do. Malaria and Tuberculosis still remains major public health concerns; energy supply remains low; agriculture is still hugely rain-fed, undiversified and characterized by low productivity,” he said.
Chilima who doubles as Minister Responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms pointed out that the report being launched presents an account of both achievements and challenges made in implementation of the MGDS III half way the life span from 2017 to 2022.
He said what was more noticeable was the fact that we have too many ‘flagship projects’ most of which don’t even fit the title.
Chilima added that this has led to spreading resources so thinly with most of them just initiated and dying a natural death.
“If these resources were prioritized to focus on just few impactful long-term development projects, the impacts could be felt within a short time in the lives of most Malawians,” the Vice President viewed.
He called upon the National Planning Commission (NPC) which has mandate to define the flagship projects for the country, to work closely with Ministry of Economic Planning and Development to ensure that the Public Sector Investment Programme focuses on few but impactful long-term projects.
Chilima said it was pleasing to note that that implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has largely been on track.
“Malawi has already achieved 18 Sustainable Development indicators and was on track on 80 indicators. Progress on further 66 indicators has been slow. When Covid-19 was brought into the picture, we can all agree that we need to build back better by collaborating more in delivering on the national priorities as defined in MGDS III including the SDGs which are domesticated there-in,” he added.
United Nations Development Programme Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres said UN remains committed to supporting the Government of Malawi to achieve the goals and objectives of the MGDS III and 2030 Agenda.
She said they would ensure that the UN’s collective human, technical and financial resources are organized and deployed in the most effective and efficient manner and in the spirit of delivering as one.
“As you will appreciate, the year 2020 is half way through implementation of MDGS III. We hence take stock of the progress. At this point we assess what is working? What is not working…and Why? ” the Chairperson for NPC, Prof Richard Mkandawire said.
He pointed out that NPC took lead in this exercise with the support from the Monitoring & Evaluation Division in the Department of Economic Planning & Development (EP&D) as well as the various Planning Units in different Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who provided the necessary reports, statistics and feedback.
“We are appreciative of the financial support from the Secretary to the Treasury, the UN system particularly UNDP, and the Michigan State University who made sure that resources were readily available to carry out this very important activity,” Mkandawire acknowledged.