The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has attributed failure to attain key aspirations of a development strategy dubbed Vision 2020 to lack of focus on specific development goals.
The chamber feels with the vision, which many already agree failed to meet objectives, Malawi has achieved.
MCCCI Chief Executive Officer, Chancellor Kaferapanjira, also attributed the vision’s flop to lack of political will.
“Vision 2020 had challenges in that although there were long term-targets, we did not have mid-term targets which would enable us measure the progress. We were not working towards very specific goals in the short term and as a result, we ended up achieving nothing,” Kaferapanjira said.
He added that different political regimes, during the 25- year period of implementing the country’s long-term economic transformation blueprint, did not mind essence of the vision because of lack of targets and did not feel bound to implement the vision to the letter.
The strategy, according to Kaferapanjira, was also premised on many wrong aspirations.
“The emphasis on poverty reduction was also misplaced because one would reduce poverty by handouts but not building a sustainable base,” he said.
Last week, a consultant hired to look at successes and failures of the blueprint rated it as overambitious for Malawi.
Results of a review exercise by the consultant show that Malawi has failed to meet most of the targets.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) was mandated to develop a vision 2020 successor plan and spearhead the formulation of innovative and progressive flagship projects in line with the national vision.
In a separate interview, NPC Director General, Thomas Munthali, agreed with Kaferapanjira that Vision 2020 lacked a clear focus.
He said the next blueprint would focus on wealth creation for all.
“The vision [Vision 2020] was a good vision but it was all over. We had too many things packed in one vision. We want to make sure that this time we have focus,” Munthali said.
Vision 2020 assumed that by the year 2020, Malawi, as a God fearing nation, would be secure, democratically mature, environmentally sustainable, self-reliant with equal opportunities for and active participation by all, having social services, vibrant cultural and religious values and a technologically driven middle-income economy.
But less than a month before 2020, Malawi remains among the poorest countries of the world with 50.7 percent of the population still living below the poverty line. About 25 percent of the population lives in abject poverty.
Figures from the Vision 2020 review report show that between 1994 and 2018, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the country averaged 4.39 percent compared to an anticipated annual GDP growth of about nine percent if the country was to attain the anticipated aspirations.