Some sections of the civil society have faulted government over delays in launching the much-awaited Malawi Growth Development Strategy (MGDS III) despite the draft proposal being completed last year.
MGDS III is meant to replace MGDS II, which expired in June 2016.
Unlike its immediate predecessor, the new development blue print is built around a theme that aims to improve productivity, turn the country into a competitive nation and develop resilience to shocks and hazards.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) Executive Director, Dalitso Kubalasa, said the delays are surprising considering that the goals of the development plan were supposed to be part of the 2016/2017 national budget.
“We are looking at the next budget and we don’t have the strategy. Let us hope that the planning commission is working on the launch now,” he said.
But in a separate interview, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance,
Economic Planning and Development, Davis Sado said preparations are underway for the launch of MGDS III.
He said the strategy is at the printing level stage and that some ofthe copies have already been submitted to government and other key partners.
“We are yet to set a date for the launch, but everything is in place. We also have commissioners for the National Planning Commission,” Sado said.
He said priorities in the development strategy include agriculture, water development and climate change management, educat ion and ski l ls development, energy, industry and tourism development, transport and ICT infrastructure, among others.
“MGDS III is designed to spur growth and remove barriers to development for the next five years. It is also the final strategy that will take Malawi to the realisation of Vision 2020,” he said.
But Kubalasa maintained that without vision people perish hence the need for government fast-tract the implementation of the development goals.
“A blue print like MGDS III should be taken seriously by operationalising the plan for a better Malawi and time is of the essence,” he said.