By Taonga Sabola:
Malawi has said it is committed to operationalising the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s High 5 development priorities.
Malawi’s Temporary Alternate Governor, Betty Ngoma, made the commitment during the 2019 annual meetings of AfDB Group boards of governors in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, last week.
The AfDB High 5s include Light and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
Ngoma said Malawi would operationalise the High 5 through its medium-term National Development Plan called the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) running under the theme ‘Building a Competitive, Productive and Resilient Nation’.
“In order to achieve the goals and objective of the MGDS III, we identified key priority areas which include the development of energy, industry and tourism; agriculture, water and climate change management; transport and ICT infrastructure development; education and skills development; and health and population management,” Ngoma said.Advertisement
She hailed AfDB for being part of Malawi’s transformative journey by supporting a number of projects currently being implemented in Malawi.
Ngoma said the projects are agriculture, transport and social services and were in line with the bank’s Country Strategy Paper which in a way is also aligned to the MGDS III.
Ngoma said, in the transport sector, which is one of the key factors for industrialisation, the bank was supporting Malawi’s road infrastructure under the Multinational- Nacala Road Corridor Development Project.
“The main objective of the project is transportation and trade facilitation from Lusaka in Zambia through Malawi and to the Port of Nacala in Mozambique to enhance competiveness and socio – economic integration between the three countries. This project will also help improve the efficiency and competitiveness of local businesses to accelerate economic and social growth in Malawi.
“The bank is also supporting sustainable rural water and sanitation infrastructure with an aim of increasing access to reliable and sustainable potable water supply and improved sanitation services for the socio-economic growth and development of the country,” she said.
Ngoma said, in the agricultural sector, AfDB was supporting many projects including the Shire Valley Transformation Programme, whose main objective is to contribute to the transformation of agricultural systems in the country from traditional rain-fed based agriculture to commercially oriented agriculture.
This, Ngoma said, would be achieved through the development of market oriented and private sector-led initiatives and establishment of the institutional and contractual arrangements.
AfDB recently supported Malawi’s disaster recovery and reconstruction plans with the emergency relief package and measures to combat the effect of climate change.
The annual meetings closed on Friday amid growing consensus that regional integration is imperative to a new phase in African prosperity.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina described the 2019 meetings as a success.
“We have had an excellent exchange with all of our shareholders. They were extremely impressed by the work achieved by the Bank, particularly in terms of regional integration.
“Our AAA rating is preserved and protected … Look at our income. It’s sky-high,” he said.