Malawi President, Peter Mutharika, said his country is still facing economic challenges with most of its people living below minimum life standards.
Mutharika made the observation on Friday in the capital, Lilongwe, at the launch of consultations for development plans dubbed Vision 2063, which is a successor to Vision 2020 that the country launched in 1998.
The Malawi leader said: the country is still importing and consuming more than it can produce and export and that it is not yet industrialized, adding its people are still in need of better health and agriculture services while children need more schools.
Mutharika said: “With Vision 2020, we have made progress. But we also agree that we should have achieved more. Many of our people still live in poverty. Our economy is still weak. Our electricity capacity is still inadequate.”
“So today, as we stand in the middle ground between the past 20 years and the next 40 years, we need to ask ourselves how we can do right the things that we have done wrong in the past period.”
Mutharika said Malawians need to change from focusing on poverty reduction to inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance.
He appealed to Malawians to work harder to move to economic independence where everyone will live decent lives without waiting for donations or hand-outs from anyone.
“As we develop the new plan, I want the youths and women to be heard and their ideas included in this plan,” said Mutharika.”We cannot afford to leave the youth and women behind in the process of deciding our national development for the next 40 years.”
According to the World Bank, Malawi’s national poverty rate increased slightly from 50.7 percent in 2010 to 51.5 percent in 2016 but extreme national poverty decreased from 24.5 percent in 2010 to 20.1 percent in 2016. Endite