Malawi launched its new five-year development plan on Tuesday during a ceremony at Kamuzu Palace, the State House in Lilongwe.
The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III emphasizes climate priorities, alongside agriculture and water resources, in a vision that runs through 2022 and builds on the previous version. It is designed to align with specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as Malawi moves “with the United Nations and the rest of the world,” said President Peter Mutharika in a speech offering details of the development framework.
“Tourism is an industry that matters,” he said. “But we also need to toughen our spirit of resilience and move forward against setbacks of natural disasters and economic shocks. We must continue to be a resilient nation with better climate change management.”
The MGDS III also is designed to dovetail with the African Union Agenda 2063 goals, as well as those of the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC). It’s expected to cost K8.6 trillion (about USD$12 billion) to implement.
Projects listed in a draft copy include development in the Lower Shire Valley, which would build water and irrigation infrastructure to boost food security and the agricultural economy. The estimated cost is $265 million, to be financed by the Government of Malawi, World Bank and African Development Bank.
Another Green Belt Initiative project would develop land adjacent to lakes and rivers in three different areas, and is to be funded by Malawi and India; a separate project to improve water quality in Blantyre, also funded through an Indian credit line, would cost $23.5 million.
“This is a homegrown development strategy that drives our national agenda in harmony with the international community,” Mutharika said. “To all our friends in the international community, rest assured that Malawi now has policy stability and continuity.”
Malawi also will prioritize energy development, transportation and IT infrastructure, and education and public health improvements.
Image: Shire River Basin Management Program