Professionals form the formidable pillars of national development. Whenever a nation reaches some milestones in some areas, it certainly means that professionals specialising in such fields added value to their intellectual prowess.
Malawi has at several times been slipping down on the Doing Business Index. This certainly puts a dent on the development agenda of this country. It is not that our economic policies are too archaic to go along with the pace of economic revolution. It is not even that we are advancing protectionism philosophy. What is pulling down the investment climate is the inability of key service providers who are great yardsticks in business indexing, to improve service delivery in their capacities.
At present, electricity generation and distribution remains a challenge. Even as small as 11 percent of the population of Malawians cannot have access to electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How can this situation entice investors in perishable products?
Where are our distinguished engineers and what do they discuss at their annual conference?
We are proud as a country to have educationists, renowned professors and doctors in education. As the population has been increasing over the years, certainly they should have been forecasting on its impact on the provision of tertiary education. Why is it that the intake of our universities has remained at a static level probably for long? What strategies have our educationists been advancing to ensure that the country provides an easy access to tertiary education to its citizens to spearhead continued national development?
In the field of justice we rely on our learned colleagues in the law profession to offer us appropriate and unbiased guidance on the application of the law. The handling of disputes, civil or criminal, and the administration of justice has the potential to give people confidence in the law or to disillusion them. Some cases seem to be discharged at supersonic speed while other cases grow moulds in files with no hope of being addressed. In such a situation, what hope do our learned colleagues offer us?
Companies have been folding down having been nursing losses consecutively. We question, where were the men and women of figures, the accountants? Where were the economic forecasters, economists? What strategic advice have they been offering?
Are our banks accessible to the common man? Are they the hub of economic development through provision of loans without infusing complex bureaucratic procedures that let people down? Are the interest rates being offered in line with inducing economic development at the household level?
Why is it that only a few Malawians have access to insurance policies? What is it that makes insurance policies not attractive to people? Our chartered insurers have the duty to go beyond the wording of the policies. They have to look at the practicalities of tailoring the policies with the economic interest of the people of this country.
Malawi is awash with professionals. Malawi can develop.
The setback is that many professionals do not discharge their duties to the best of their intellectual capacities.
We should run away from the temptation of writing high class proposals but unable to turn rhetoric into practice. Our professionalism can help the country if it moves away from the desks to the actual practical concepts.
When professionals do not put their professionalism to effective use, the end result is catastrophic. Where were professionals when people were acquiring massive loans they could not service in the USA leading to the global financial crisis?
Where were political scientists in Zimbabwe and Kenya when people kept butchering each other in political conflicts? In the words of Justice Dunstan Mwaungulu in the presentation entitled ‘The role of professionals in development: the profesional’s empire’, “When professionals go to sleep, what the world benefits is chaos.”
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