‘MIP-1 execution slow, off-track’
The National Planning Commission (NPC) has said the rollout of the first 10-year Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP-1) has been very slow, with some interventions being off-track.
The MIP-1, which runs from 2021 to 2030, replaced Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III as the country’s new medium-term development strategy.
It is aimed at helping Malawi graduate into a middle income economy and achieve most of the Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the 2023 National Development Conference, NPC Director General Thomas Munthali said out of the implementation interventions that Malawi was expected to start within 2021-22, about 80 percent have started, of which 60 percent are either very slow or off-track.
According to Munthali, the slow pace could be partly attributed to a number of exogenous shocks such as the Russia-Ukraine War, the Covid pandemic and tropical storms.
On the other hand, he said, the slow progress was a result of failure to allocate enough resources to key strategic areas which could trigger the much needed growth, in addition to sheer laxity by people trusted with responsibilities in the implementation process.
He lamented the negative mindset among Malawians, saying it would lead the country nowhere.
NPC Chairperson Richard Mkandawire said there are clear signals that Malawi must be resilient, disciplined and steadfast in efforts and commitment to the implementation of catalytic and quick-win interventions, picking lessons faster and re-organising the country’s priorities with a higher sense of urgency.
Delivering a keynote address during the conference, Malawi’s Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund as well as former minister of Finance Maxwell Mkwezalamba said Malawi’s average growth rate has been much below the six percent growth needed for it to attain the lower middle economy status by 2030.
He said Malawi needs to address the challenges impeding growth so as to realise the MIP- 1 aspirations.
According to Mkwezalamba, despite Malawi developing National Export Strategy 1 and 2, not much has been done as far as economic and export diversification is concerned.
He said it is regrettable that Malawi has not taken full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
In his address, President Lazarus Chakwera expressed concern over the slow progress of all the three MIP-1 pillars of agricultural productivity and commercialisation, industrialisation, and urbanisation.
“I have directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to align the national budget to the priority interventions in MIP-1 – giving particular attention to the collectively agreed quick wins under each pillar and enabler of Malawi 2063 as presented by the leaders this morning,” Chakwera said.