Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, on Thursday said time had come for Malawi to stop focusing her development strategies on poverty reduction but wealth creation.
Muhara was speaking in Lilongwe when he officially opened the Third Join Research Symposium organised by the National Planning Commission and the Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama).
Muhara said by overemphasizing on poverty reduction, the framers of the development plans were assuming that Malawi would remain poor forever.
He said it was high time, future development plans focused not on merely helping Malawians survive but making them start making real progress in life.
Muhara reminded the over 150 economists who attended the symposium that Malawi would only be developed by Malawians, saying development partners are only there to help complement the efforts of the citizens.
“No country has been developed by visitors. Let us make sure that we craft plans that would make all Malawians play a role in the development process,” Muhara said, adding that time had come for Malawians to start hating handouts.
While acknowledging the significant strides registered in stabilising the economy, Muhara said the efforts would mean nothing if the lives of the ordinary Malawians would remain in poverty.
UN Resident Representative, Maria Jose Torres, said it was high time
Malawi started taking advantage of the prevailing harmony to grow the economy.
Torres said it was hard to see Malawi being among the most peaceful countries in the world but at the same time being among the poorest countries in the world.
NPC Director General, Thomas Munthali, said the deliberations made at the symposium would help his organisation crafta successor plan to Vision 2020, expected to be unveiled next year in line with Africa’s Agenda 63.