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National Planning Commission engages industry on development plan

KAFERAPANJIRA—We need guidance

The National Planning Commission (NPC) on Monday engaged industry captains for their input on the next national development plan.

Over a month before 2020, the commission is soliciting views to be incorporated into a successor blueprint of Vision 2020, which many agree, failed to meet objectives.

Addressing the private sector players in Blantyre, NPC Director General, Thomas Munthali, said key aspiration for the next development map would be wealth creation for all with the private sector expected to play a pivotal role.

“We cannot talk of wealth creation without involving the private sector. It is central in defining the kind of strategies and pathways that we can follow through,” Munthali said.

He said the development agenda intends to put in place policies that would help promote private sector operations.

Munthali reiterated need for Malawi to change its development narrative — from poverty reduction to ‘spearheading wealth creation for all’ — if it is sustainably grow the economy.

Munthali said the new narrative should be beyond survival basics to higher ‘wealth’ levels.

Among ideas the commission is spearheading include self reliance, creation of secondary cities, commercialisation of agriculture sector and managing population growth.

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (MCCCI), an umbrella body for private sector, rated the meeting as timely.

MCCCI Chief Executive Officer, Chancellor Kaferapanjira, said the shift in focus is ideal, especially when the ‘poverty alleviation’ agenda seem to have failed the country.

He cited the need for authorities to put in place ideal incentives, land reforms and basic infrastructures like stable energy supply among areas to consider fixing.

“Wealth is created through the private sector. We are interested in the initiative because wealth creation is what we stand for.

There are, however, a number of aspects that needs to be addressed if the private sector is to play its rightful role,” Kaferapanjira said.

NPC’s mandate is to identify Malawi’s social and economic development priorities and formulate a national vision and strategy for social and economic goals, taking into account the country’s resource potential and comparative advantage.

The commission has a role of overseeing the implementation of long-term national vision and strategies, and medium — term development plans.

NPC is also mandated to spearhead the formulation of innovative and progressive flagship projects in line with the national vision.

Launched in 1998, Vision 2020 was developed to provide a guide towards sustainable national development in Malawi.

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