President Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday launched Vision 2063, which seeks to transform Malawi from a least developed country into an upper middle-class economy in the next 42 years.
Chakwera was, however, quick to note that, since the vision has been crafted by Malawians, citizens must own it.
According to the World Bank, upper middle-income economies are countries with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of between $4,046 and $12,535 (2021).
As at 2019, Malawi’s GNI per capita, which is simply the dollar value of a country’s final income in a year divided by its population, stood at $380, which means Malawi has a daunting task to raise the figure to upper middle income entry-level of $4,046.
Currently, countries in the upper middle-economy category include Gabon, South Africa, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Argentina, Peru and Turkey.
Challenging Malawians on the new vision, Chakwera said turning Malawi into a wealthy and self-reliant nation through agricultural commercialisation, smart urbanisation and sustainable industrialisation would not be done by people from other nations but Malawians themselves.
“Everyone who considers themselves a citizen of Malawi, whether here at home or in diaspora, in both the public and private sectors; and everyone who counts themselves among Malawi’s servants and friends, whether here at home or abroad, must not only read and internalise this vision.
“They must also align their activities, institutions, programmes, budgets and discussions to the priorities and outcomes outlined in this document. This is where we have chosen to go together as a nation. That means that, from now on, everything we each do, everything we do together, and everything we allow others to do in our nation, must not be accepted or rejected based on whether it is good or bad,” Chakwera said.
He noted that, moving forward, development projects would be accepted and rejected based on whether they contribute to collective efforts to accomplish Vision 2063.
He lamented wastefulness in management of national affairs.
“We waste too much time on trivia and idleness; we waste too much money on entitlements and consumption; we waste too much land on crops for subsistence living in an annual cycle of poverty and dependency; we waste too much aid on sustaining the careers and livelihoods of foreigners whose very professions depend on us remaining in abject poverty.
“We waste too many public offices on people who sit around adding no value to our quest for good government; we waste too many foreign embassy jobs on people who are nothing more than diplomatic tourists; we waste too much public discourse on politics of division, one-up-man-ship, fault-finding, slander, and misinformation.
“We waste too much of our minds and thoughts on gossip and frivolous tales about other people’s private affairs; we waste too much of our business activities on get-rich-quick schemes that fuel the greed and corruption now strangling the government’s entire procurement system with overpriced goods and under delivered services,” Chakwera said.
African Union (AU) Southern Region Head of Mission David Claude Pierre hailed Malawi for unveiling the vision, which runs side by side with the AU’s Agenda 63.
National Planning Commission Chairperson Richard Mkandawire said Malawi Vision 2063 had been formulated in a thoroughly consultative manner despite challenges brought about by the Covid-19 environment.
“The new vision now becomes our guide in implementing different development initiatives that are based on evidence and research to ensure that we, as a country, can face the future with hope for ourselves as well as for the coming generations,” Mkandawire said.
Youth Core Advisory Panel Co-Chairperson Madalitso Chipekwe said the youth recognise the great role they have to play to champion attainment of the country’s goals.
“We, therefore, take full responsibility to oversee the successful realisation of this vision by taking active roles in the implementation process as we did in the formulation.
“We call upon the government to continue providing us, the youth, with the necessary platform where our contributions will be recognised, taking on board only those transformative initiatives that will catalyse and sustain the inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance agenda. This will ensure that we fully meet the aspirations of all Malawians,” Chipekwe said.