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‘MGDS III needs K2.5 trillion’

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Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, has put the preliminary cost of the yet to be launched Third Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS III) at K2.5 trillion.

Gondwe was, however, cautious on the exact figure as the newly-established National Planning Commission will have to evaluate the programmes in the strategy to come up with a final cost.

Speaking after attending the ‘Third High Level Forum for Development Effectiveness’ in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Gondwe said, at the rate of K500 billion per year, the country will need K2.5 trillion to achieve the needed results.

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Gondwe said Vice- President Saulos Chilima took the development partners through the country’s resilience strategy on Tuesday and the Ministry of Finance took them through the MGDS on Wednesday, for them to make up their mind on areas they want to support.

“Of course, we will engage them again in another meeting where we hope they will indicate how they are going to support us,” Gondwe said.

He, however, said the world has changed and the intention is that the country has to rely on its own resources first.

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“We will have to mobilise more and more resources to finance the requirements of our strategy. The development partners will just supplement us. I am hoping this can work in that way. But if we fail to mobilise resources that are needed, internally, I hope very much that the development partners will see it worthwhile to increase their support,” he said.

Among other areas of focus, Gondwe said the strategy intends to increase the number of people with access to electricity and intensify irrigation farming in the country.

Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) Executive Director, Dalitso Kubalasa, said Malawi should stop being a policy-country and become an implementing-country.

“We really need to change the narrative that Malawi is policy-rich country but an implementation poor one. That narrative has been part of us and has not been good. We really have to change the lives of the people,” Kubalasa said.

The Second Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (2011-2016) which the cabinet approved in 2012 ended without achieving the intended objective of reducing poverty among Malawians.

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