Mutharika to re-launch Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS)


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Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development says President Peter Mutharika  is expected to launch the Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS) III, a national development blueprint on Tuesday in Lilongwe.

The ministry’s spokesperson Davis Sado said in an interview on Thursday that all is set to launch the strategy which focuses on spurring growth and removing barriers to development in agriculture, water development and climate change management; education and skills development; energy, industry and tourism development; transport and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure as well as health and population.

He said: “Preparation of the document, including printing, has been done awaiting its official launch very soon. It [the MGDS III] is supposed to run from 2017-2022.”

MGDS III was developed following the expiry of its predecessor, MGDS II, in June 2016.

It was planned to be operational last year, but legal procedures led to delays.

Among other things, the strategy targets a further reduction in the inflation rate to seven percent to build a productive, competitive and resilient nation.

While Malawi posted some commendable growth rates over the implementation periods of MGDS I and II, such growth has neither been sustained nor been inclusive.

According to the 2015 Malawi National Human Development Report on Inclusive Growth, despite that poverty reduction has been a primary development goal in the country, it has remained pervasive, especially in rural areas.

Treasury says the strategy has been prepared at a time when Malawi has been experiencing multiple shocks, including floods and droughts.

Sado said unlike its immediate predecessor, the new strategy is built around principles that aim at improving productivity, turning the country into a competitive nation and developing resilience to shocks and hazards.

The strategy is premised on the fact that Malawi will have to generate sufficient domestic resources to support the implementation of the MGDSIII with a single digit inflation rate.

Chancellor College economics professor Ben Kaluwa said, in an interview, that the delay in launching the strategy somehow has an impact on the country’s development because it was running without direction.

“It becomes a problem if we do not have strategies. It doesn’t really matter if it’s written or not,” he said.

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