Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Pres. Chakwera makes solid case for economic growth at Malawi-Partners Conference 2023

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera speaking during the Malawi-Partners Conference 2023 yesterday in New York yesterday evening, shared Malawi’s plan for achieving Sustainable Development Goals and the national aspirations of Malawi 2063.

“The people of Malawi have set an ambitious target to build an inclusively wealthy self-reliant industrialised upper-middle-income economy. And to achieve this, we have set our sights attaining lowermiddle-income status by 2030 as we pursue the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda, so that we can graduate from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) category in line with the Doha Programme of Action,” said the President to the listening audience.

The President said for this to happen, Malawi’s economy has to grow by no less than 6 per cent per annum.

“Now there was hope that this target was in sight when the growth projection for Malawi’s economy was set at 5.4%, but that hope was dashed when four cyclones, one drought, a global pandemic, a nationwide cholera outbreak, and a war in Eastern Europe all conspired to cut that projection down to less than one percent. And when you add to this conspiracy of shocks the 3 distressing and unsustainable debt that my Administration inherited, what you have is a fiscal space so limited that there can be no possibility of growth without a global coalition of partners,” argued the President.

He continued:

“This coalition of partners is necessary not just to stop the bleeding and nurse our economy back to resilient health, but primarily to leverage foreign direct investments towards unlocking the enormous potential Malawi has for transformative and exponential economic productivity in the Agriculture, Tourism, and Mining Sectors, what we call our ATM Strategy.

“The level of investment needed to do this in the next 7 years in close to 100 billion dollars, which is pocket change for most of the economies that have contributed the most to climate change. But a tenth of this needs to go towards resilience building to protect the gains we make in SDGs from being eroded by external shocks. I am thankful that 40% of this resilience-building budget is already covered by the development budgets of Government and the in-country programs of our development partners. So tonight we have gathered here to invite you to consider what your commitment might be towards the remaining 60% of this budget, which is a total of 4.7 billion dollars in the next 4 seven years, to be channelled through either Program and Project Support, or Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), or Sector Budgetary Support, all of which are a robust framework safeguarded by our reforms program and the enforcement of our new Public Finance Management laws.”

The President concluded:

“I am not asking you to scale up your investment out of pity. I am asking you to scale up your investment out of faith in the potential of Malawi to become a beacon of transformation that you can be proud of, the kind of transformation that is resilient, sustainable, and able to withstand future shocks. And to remind you of why this investment is worth making, I ask you to join me in welcoming our keynote speaker, the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development, and my friend, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs. Come on up Jeff!”



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