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United Nations challenges Malawi on development

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KOMATSUBARA—Invest in local
economic development

The United Nations (UN) has reiterated the need for Malawi to improve agriculture productivity and invest in production of commodities which are imported but could be produced locally.

The UN further emphasises the need to increase investment in the export capacity of the country and building competitiveness of the private sector to generate wealth and jobs from within, tapping into opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

In a response to an emailed questionnaire, acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Shigeki Komatsubara said the world was gradually emerging from the adverse impacts of the Covid pandemic when it again got impacted by another geopolitical event, which has presented additional development challenges to countries like Malawi.

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He said the adverse impacts were being felt by economies around the world, especially developing countries and fragile states including Malawi, which was further compounded by the effects of tropical storms Ana and Gombe.

“While Malawi is being impacted by these developments, the country can also turn them into opportunities to further accelerate socio-economic transformation articulated in Malawi 2063 and its First 10-Year Implementation Plan, as well as the Malawi Covid Socio-Economic Recovery Plan.

“The Malawi 7th National Human Development Report advances a district-focused approach to sustainable human development through policy measures that strengthen local governance structures in development and accelerate development at all levels of the society,” he said.

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Komatsubara said Malawi need to consider investing in digital transformation, green growth, and innovation to help the country and its people, especially youths and women.

He recommended that the country should take advantage of economic opportunities in Africa and globally to improve on service delivery, transparency, and accountability; and create fiscal space for inclusive and sustainable development.

He added that the UN stood ready to support Malawi in its efforts to accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Malawi 2063.

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said the government was already working towards creating an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth.

He said in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, the government has K462.24 billion to the education sector, representing 4.1 percent of GDP and 16.3 percent of the total budget as a means to human capital development.

He further said the agriculture sector has been allocated K447.66 billion, representing 3.9 percent of GDP, and 15.8 percent of the total budget in line with the Malawi 2063, which prioritised agriculture productivity under Pillar One, among other things.

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