Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper: Growth and Development Strategy

This paper focuses on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). The MGDS is the overarching strategy for Malawi from fiscal year 2006/07 to 2010/2011. The purpose of the MGDS is to serve as a single reference document for policymakers in government; the private sector; civil society organizations; donors and cooperating partners and the general public on socioeconomic growth and development priorities for Malawi. The overriding philosophy of the MGDS is poverty reduction through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development.


This paper focuses on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). The MGDS is the overarching strategy for Malawi from fiscal year 2006/07 to 2010/2011. The purpose of the MGDS is to serve as a single reference document for policymakers in government; the private sector; civil society organizations; donors and cooperating partners and the general public on socioeconomic growth and development priorities for Malawi. The overriding philosophy of the MGDS is poverty reduction through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development.


1.1 Overview

The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) is the overarching strategy for Malawi for the next five years from 2006/2007 to 2010/2011 fiscal years. It is the overarching operational medium-term strategy for Malawi designed to attain the nation’s Vision 2020. The main thrust of the MGDS is to create wealth through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development as a means of achieving poverty reduction. It presents a policy framework that articulates issues related to both economic growth and social development. The policy mix of the MGDS is aimed at achieving the medium-term development objectives of sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development. The purpose of the MGDS is to serve as a single reference document for policy makers in Government, the Private Sector, Civil Society, Donors and Co-operating Partners on the country’s socio-economic development priorities.

To ascertain immediate economic benefits for the people of Malawi, the MGDS will in the next five years place emphasis on six key priority areas of agriculture and food security; irrigation and water development; transport infrastructure development; energy generation and supply; integrated rural development; and prevention and management of nutrition disorders, HIV and AIDS. These six key priority areas are also expected to accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the areas of health, education, gender, environment, and governance. These six key priority areas have been selected from the broad MGDS framework of five thematic areas namely; sustainable economic growth; social protection; social development; infrastructure development and improving governance. The MGDS recognizes that issues of HIV and AIDS, science and technology, gender, empowerment and environment are cross cutting hence have been streamlined within the six thematic areas.

The MGDS is a product of a highly consultative and participatory process that identified specific strategies and focus actions that will be pursued and implemented in the medium-term in order to attain the aspiration of the nation as articulated in the Vision 2020. The MGDS builds on the Malawi Economic Growth Strategy (MEGS) that emphasized the need to create a conducive environment for private sector investment to stimulate economic growth. The MGDS also incorporates lessons learnt from the implementation of the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy (MPRS). The MGDS has also been aligned with existing key sectoral strategies and policies from both private and public stakeholder institutions.

Government will spearhead the implementation of the MGDS. However, all stakeholders have varying responsibilities in the implementation process to ensure the attainment of the set goals.

1.2 Main Assumptions of the MGDS

The main assumptions of the MGDS are as follows;

  • Malawi achieves a sustainable macroeconomic growth within a stable political and economic environment.

  • Malawi attains a minimum annual growth rate of 6.0 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in order to meaningfully reduce poverty.

  • Malawi qualifies for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Donor Debt Relief Initiative (MDDRI).

  • Private sector invests and actively participates in socio-economic development activities.

  • Public and private sector investment in infrastructure as a pre-requisite for the creation of an enabling environment is realized and institutionalised.

  • There are adequate resources and capacity to provide educational needs at all levels, delivery of essential health package, prevention and mitigation of the socio-economic impacts of HIV and AIDS.

  • Good governance is entrenched and institutionalised to avoid wastage of scarce financial and other resources that would have otherwise contributed to the achievement of sustainable economic growth and development.

  • Effective social protection programmes are designed to mitigate negative side effects of growth and development.

  • There is political will and change of mindset to enforce the implementation of the national strategy over its period.

1.3 Outline

The MGDS is organized as follows: Chapter 1 informs the introduction, which presents an overview and main assumptions. Chapter 2 is the background and provides the purpose, objectives and rationale of the MGDS. Chapter 3 summarizes macroeconomic environment within which the MGDS will be implemented and chapter 4 presents the key focus areas of the MGDS. Chapter 5 outlines the strategic framework of the MGDS and outlines in detail the five thematic areas. Finally, chapter 6 presents the implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework of the MGDS.


The MGDS is not a stand-alone policy document. It has been derived on the basis of the current long-term policy goal of the country prescribed in the Vision 2020 and past experiences in the implementation of medium term development objectives such as the MPRS and MEGS. The MGDS is not an alternative to MPRS or MEGS or the Vision 2020, but rather an implementable medium term strategy that translates the goals and objectives that emerged from a nation-wide consultation process and are reflected in Vision 2020. It intends to build a broad political consensus on the direction for economic growth and wealth creation.

2.1 Malawi Vision 2020

In the late 1990s, Malawi developed the Vision 2020, which was launched in 2000. This policy framework sets out a long-term development perspective for Malawi. It emphasizes long term strategic thinking, shared vision and visionary leadership, participation by the population, strategic management and national learning. The Vision 2020 states that “by the year 2020 Malawi as a God fearing nation, will be secure, democratically mature, environmentally sustainable, self-reliant with equal opportunities for and active participation by all, having social services, vibrant cultural and religious values and a technologically driven middle-income economy”. The fundamentals of the MGDS are based on the shared Vision 2020 and commitment of Malawians to improve their economic welfare.

2.2 Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy

In May 2002, the Government launched the MPRS which presented a first attempt to translate long-term strategy of Malawi Vision 2020 into medium term focused action plans. The MPRS became the overarching medium term strategy of the Government for reducing poverty in the country. The goal of the MPRS was to achieve “sustainable poverty reduction through empowerment of the poor.”

The MPRS was built around four strategic pillars namely: sustainable pro-poor growth; human capital development; improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable; and governance. In addition, it had four key cross cutting issues namely: HIV and AIDS, gender, environment, science and technology. The implementation period for the MPRS was for a period of three years and it came to an end in the fiscal year 2004/05.

In the second half of 2005, the MPRS was reviewed to draw lessons from its implementation. These lessons are summarized in the report “Comprehensive Review of the MPRS 2005” and its findings informed the strategic direction of the MGDS. The notable achievement of the MPRS was the decline in poverty levels from 54.1 percent to 52.4 percent. Also important was the fact that Ministries and Departments tried to implement their activities in line with the MPRS framework. However, there were some short falls that hampered the implementation process. These included failure by Ministries and Departments to translate the activities into the budget and MTEF, slow implementation of the devolution process, and that funding was not based on pillars.

2.4 Malawi Economic Growth Strategy

Under the first pillar of the MPRS, sustainable pro-poor growth, stakeholders noted that the strategies and actions were insufficient to achieve sustained annual economic growth of at least 6 percent. Further, the 2002/03 MPRS review revealed that housing and land policy issues among others were not well articulated to contribute effectively to broad based growth. While it identified certain sectors in terms of their growth potential, it neither focused on eliminating obstacles to growth on an economy-wide basis, nor did it sufficiently articulate the role of the private sector. Therefore, in July 2004, the Government of Malawi developed the MEGS in close collaboration with the private sector. The MEGS was not designed as an alternative to the MPRS, but rather as a complement to strengthen pillar one through investments that would directly impact on economic growth.

The MEGS was indeed a joint realisation by Government and the private sector that the Malawi economy had been registering negative growth and that something had to be done in order to reverse the trend. Hence, the rationale for growth and diversification for Malawi was compelling because rapid broad-based growth was necessary to reduce poverty. Rapid broad-based growth was intended to expand the sectoral sources of growth, deepen and sustain the gains to be made from agriculture, and make the economy less susceptible to external shocks like weather, changes in terms of trade, political developments in the region, and fluctuations in external aid flows.

The MEGS identified and prioritised key potential sectors that could generate growth in addition to the core agricultural sectors of tobacco, sugar and tea. These included tourism, mining, manufacturing with particular emphasis to agro-processing, cotton, textiles and garments. The MEGS also emphasized the need for the creation of favourable environment for private sector participation as it envisaged that the private sector was the engine of growth in the modern liberalised and globalised world.

The MEGS focused on strategies and actions that did not require substantial additional spending by Government and instead could be achieved through refocusing of existing resources and by developing a more conducive set of policies that would stimulate private sector investment and trade in the immediate future. It was envisaged, in the medium term, that donor organisations would have a key role to play in creating a conducive environment for economic growth by supporting policy reforms and providing resources to support Government during the transitional period.

2.5 Millennium Development Goals

Malawi as a nation remains committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MGDS, being an over-arching strategic policy document for the next five years has been developed with strong linkages to achieve the MDGs. The emphasis to promote economic growth and development does not in anyway substitute the need for providing social services which are particularly important to achieving the MDGs but rather it is envisaged that the benefits of economic growth will generate sustainable means for the provision of basic human needs to enable Malawi achieve the MDGs.

The MGDS has attempted to translate the MDGs for Malawi in a localized context. All MDGs are therefore addressed in the strategy within the targets and strategies in that localized context. These MDGs are important to Malawi as they reflect improvements in the wealth and welfare of the people of Malawi. The MGDS recognizes the importance of the MDGs hence its strategies have been aligned to the MDGs outcomes as follows:

  • Poverty: The goal of the MGDS is to decrease poverty by 8.0 percent through a combination of: economic growth, economic empowerment and food security so that Malawians are less vulnerable to economic shocks; and take measures to protect those who temporarily fall into poverty through measures that increase assets for the poor. The strategy seeks to control fluctuations in poverty due to economic shocks to ensure that those who graduate from poverty stay above the poverty line and those above it do not fall into poverty.

  • Hunger: The MGDS seeks to directly decrease the proportion of the population who suffer from hunger and to improve their nutritional status. Cycles of hunger are a factor in people moving into poverty. Food security is therefore one of the key priorities;

  • Education: The MGDS seeks to increase enrolment to 95 percent and reduce the drop out rate to 5 percent by 2012. At the primary school level it is expected that there will be substantial reduction in absenteeism, repetition and dropout rates and high quality and relevant education. At the secondary and tertiary levels it is expected that there will be increased access and improved quality and relevant education for both sexes and people with special needs.

  • Gender: The MGDS addresses gender by integrating targeted programs for women to enable women be part of economic growth such as targeted programs for business development and micro-finance. The strategy for gender directly targets mainstreaming gender into the programs of Government and disaggregates information by gender.

  • Child Mortality: The MGDS addresses child mortality through improved access to essential health care services including integrated management of childhood illness and immunization, for example, oral rehydration therapy and antibiotics for diarrhoeal disease and acute respiratory infections. In addition, the strategy seeks to increase access to clean water and sanitation, improve the nutritional status of children and ensure food security;

  • Maternal Mortality: The MGDS recognizes that little progress has been made on maternal mortality. It, therefore, seeks to improve the antenatal care and basic emergency obstetric care. Measures are being taken through the Health Sector Support Program to directly tackle health-related issues for maternal mortality. It is recognized that economic empowerment will also enable women to access better care services;

  • HIV and AIDS: The MGDS incorporates the strategies of the National AIDS Framework and the three ones. It seeks to not only reduce the prevalence and incidence of HIV and AIDS but also decrease the negative impact of HIV and AIDS on people living with AIDS and to reduce the economic and social consequences for those who care for people living with HIV and AIDS;

  • Malaria: The MGDS is tackling malaria through improvement of essential health care services, and realizing efficiency gains. It is expected that malaria incidences will decrease while the treatment of malaria will improve;

  • Environmental Sustainability: The MGDS recognizes that managing natural resources is an essential aspect of environmental sustainability. Thus, not only does the strategy directly consider environmental sustainability in forestry resources and fisheries, enforcement and education of environmental standards, but also it seeks to identify areas, such as eco-tourism, which have a positive spillover effect on economic sustainability; and

  • Access to water: The MGDS seeks to improve access to clean water and sanitation in line with the MDGs. Malawi intends to increase access to water within 500m distance for all people, and thereby ensuring that basic water requirements of every Malawian are met while the country’s natural ecosystem is enhanced.

The new emphasis in the policy direction does not necessarily imply a decrease in investment in the social sectors, but rather it seeks to strike an appropriate balance between investment in economic and social sectors. This would be achieved through reallocation of expenditure from non-priority sectors such as general administration to economic services and investment in productive sectors such as transport, energy and agriculture. In addition, it is recognized that intra social sector investment would be prioritised, stressing efficiency and effectiveness of social investment.

2.6 Malawi Growth and Development Strategy Formulation Process

The Cabinet set up a Steering Committee to translate the Government’s vision for Malawi into an operational strategy for the medium term. The Steering Committee in turn set up a Technical Working Group (TWG) to lead the formulation of Malawi Growth and Development Strategy. The consultation process for preparing MGDS was done in two phases. The first phase started with internal Government discussions in order to develop a framework for further consultations. The priorities and approach of the strategy benefited from working sessions within Government and available data and evaluations of the implementation of the MPRS. A number of consultative meetings and workshops were held with all stakeholders to seek their input in the strategy.

The second phase of the consultations involved the interface between the TWG with the MPRS Review Team. The findings of the comprehensive review of the MPRS whose consultations sought feedback from civil society on its implementation was incorporated into this document. In addition, the MGDS incorporated inputs from Integrated Household Survey, Malawi Demographic and Health Survey and the Malawi Poverty Vulnerability Analysis. Further consultations were held with other stakeholders that included Government, Parliament, Judiciary, private sector, civil society, donors and co-operating partners and the general public.

2.7 Malawi Growth and Development Strategy Framework

The Strategy is centered on achieving strong and sustainable economic growth in the medium-term. The MEGS has particularly informed the development of MGDS themes one and four on sustainable economic growth, and infrastructure development in order to achieve this objective. It is expected that the continued implementation of the MEGS strategies will generate immediate economic benefits that will translate into the well being of Malawians. The focus on infrastructure development will be key to enable private sector operate effectively and efficiently in the economy. The MGDS also emphasizes on building a healthy and educated human resource base, protecting and empowering the most vulnerable. As such themes two and three on social protection and social development are designed to achieve this objective. The successful implementation of the MGDS will depend on good governance environment within which there is a sound economic environment, high quality service delivery, effective institutions and rule of law, an efficient and effective public sector, and reduction in corruption. These issues have been comprehensively articulated in theme five on improving governance.

For each of the thematic strategy areas, a detailed matrix has been developed and is presented in Annexes to this document. These matrices show the relationship between the longer term goals for Malawi, the expected medium term outcomes that should result from the priority actions and move the country closer to realizing the longer term goals, the constraints to achieving the expected medium term outcomes, and the proposed strategies and actions to address the constraints.

The detailed matrices have been translated into a policy matrix which summarizes how the Government, in partnership with all stakeholders will implement the MGDS. The actions in the policy framework are priority actions that will feed into the yearly budget. Monitoring of progress on the actions, outputs, and expected outcomes will enable the strategy to be changed as conditions change during implementation while maintaining policy coherence over the period.

2.8 Poverty, Social Profiles and Vulnerability

Poverty has not changed significantly for the past seven years. According to Integrated Household Survey 2004/05, the current status of poverty shows that 52.4 percent of the population live below the poverty line2. This translates into about 6.3 million Malawians who are poor, with the poorest people in the Southern Region and rural areas poorer than urban where poverty rates are at 25.0 percent. The poor still have poor socio-economic indicators with food security a continuing threat to better life, ability to integrate the poor into the economic fabric, and problems of malnutrition. As can be seen from Table 2.1 below, improvements in health indicators have been unsatisfactory.

Table 2.1:

Trends of selected health indicators for Malawi

article image
Source: DHS 2005

Female headed households are worse-off and income inequality persists in Malawi with the richest 10 percent of the population having a median per capita income that is eight times higher (MK50,373 per person per annum) than the median per capita income of the poorest 10 percent (K6,370 per person per annum). However, the overall poverty figure masks fluctuations in poverty. That is approximately 30 percent of the poor moved out of poverty during the period, while 30 percent of the non-poor moved into poverty. This suggests that there is continued economic vulnerability in Malawi. In general, communities have experienced a decline in social and economic growth in the last 10 years. Malawi also has a very young and rapidly growing population, and this is a key factor explaining Malawi’s high and persistent poverty. More than half of the poor in Malawi are children. Malawi’s total population in 2005 was estimated at 12.3 million, of which about 60 percent is under the age of 20. Poor households in Malawi are generally larger than non-poor households. When looking at average household size by income decile, the relationship is evident. Households in the poorest decile are more than twice as large as households in the richest decile.

In addition, social indicators have not improved significantly in the past several years. The MGDS is to reduce poverty levels of the country by 8 percent during the implementation period by creating necessary opportunities for development.

The Poverty Vulnerability Assessment for 2006 suggests that the major factors affecting the level of household poverty are:3 household size, education, access to non-farm employment, access to irrigation, proximity to markets and trading centers, and access to tarmac roads. Access to larger landholdings and engagement in cash crop production also play an important role.

Recent trends in human development indicators broadly support the fact that there has been little progress in reducing poverty. The Human Development Index has stagnated since the mid-1990s. While there have been improvements in the education and literacy, several health indicators have worsened over the past decade. Among others, the number of physicians per population has fallen by half, and life expectancy has fallen from 46 years in 1987 to 37 years in 2005, largely due to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Childhood immunization has also decreased from 82 percent in 1992 to 64 percent in 2004. Maternal mortality rates have increased from 620 in 1992 to 960 in 2004, although they are now on a decreasing trend. Child malnutrition has remained virtually unchanged since 1992, and almost half of children under five years of age in Malawi are stunted, and 22 percent are severely stunted4.


The prevalence of a favourable macroeconomic environment will create a precondition for sustainable economic growth and wealth creation. However, in the recent past, the country has experienced an unfavourable macroeconomic environment mainly due to fiscal indiscipline. This has resulted in high inflation rates, high interest rates, unstable exchange rates hence poor economic growth. It has also contributed to unsustainable increase in the domestic debt. The combination of high interest rates and large stock of short-term domestic debt has exacerbated pressure in the operation of the budget as most resources have gone into debt servicing.

3.1 Macroeconomic Developments

The economic performance of Malawi has been dismal between 2001 and 2004. The real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) averaged 1.5 percent per annum. Savings and investment ratios have remained low over the period largely on account of low disposable incomes. National savings as a share of GDP has remained below 3.2 percent while gross investment has been below 11.2 percent. This disparity shows that investments have not been driven by national savings.

3.2 Medium Term Macroeconomic Prospects

The macroeconomic framework for the MGDS is based on the commitment to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Government is, therefore, committed to pursue sound economic policies geared at increasing and sustaining economic growth, reducing inflation rate, maintaining flexible exchange rate and improving foreign reserve position. In addition, increasing employment and improving the trade balance by enhancing the country’s export capabilities. The medium term macroeconomic objectives are presented in Table 3.2 below.

Table 3.1:

Macroeconomic Medium-Term Objectives

article image
Source: IMF
Table 3.2:

Budget Framework

article image
Source: MEPD

3.2.1 Economic Growth

On average the economy is expected to grow by more than 6.0 percent annually during the period. This is expected to emanate from growth in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining as well as the service sectors. Consequently, per capita income is expected to increase from an average of US$160 per person to an average of US$450 by the end of 2011.

3.2.2 Monetary Policy Objective

The monetary policy objective is to achieve low inflation and sustainable low interest rates. Inflation rate is expected to come down to 5.0 percent by the end of 2011. Broad money is expected to anchor the monetary programme with foreign exchange sales and open market operations as the main policy instruments in influencing liquidity in the economy. The exchange rate policy will still remain market determined.

3.2.3 Fiscal Policy Objective

The medium term fiscal policy objective will strive to maintain fiscal discipline while balancing Government expenditure between productive and social sectors of the economy. It is expected that the underlying fiscal deficit will average 0.2 percent for the next five years. This will contribute to the creation of a favourable macroeconomic environment.

The fiscal programme targets a significant repayment of debt as a means of reducing the interest burden to around 3.0 percent of GDP for the next five years. The domestic debt stock is expected to decrease from 21.5 percent of GDP in 2005 to less than 10 percent of GDP in 2011. This is expected to give relief to the Government budget.

3.3 MGDS Budget Framework

The successful implementation of the MGDS will depend on the budget framework that will be revised annually. The total revenue and grants is currently programmed to average 38.5 percent of GDP over the period Tax revenue is expected to remain at about 21.0 percent of GDP.

Total Government expenditure is expected to average about 39.0 percent of GDP. The overall fiscal balance is expected to average 1.0 percent of GDP. This budget framework is expected to stimulate economic growth and development.


4.1: Overview

The MGDS identifies six key priority areas that define the direction the country intends to take in the next five years to achieve economic growth and wealth creation. Government will concentrate its efforts on these key priority areas in the medium-term in order to achieve its overall policy objective of economic growth as a means of reducing poverty in the country. The six key priority areas are: agriculture and food security; irrigation and water development; transport infrastructure development; energy generation and supply; integrated rural development; and prevention and management of nutrition disorders, HIV and AIDS. These are summarised in table 4.1.

Table 4.1:

Summary of the six key Government priorities in the medium-term

article image

The key priority areas of agriculture and food security; transport infrastructure development; energy generation and supply; and irrigation and water development; emphasize Government’s commitment to achieving immediate economic benefits that would translate into the socio-economic well-being of people in the medium-term. The key priority area on integrated rural development comprises elements of sustainable economic growth, infrastructure development and governance. This reflects Government’s commitment to improving lives of the rural poor through economic empowerment and the development of rural growth centres. The key priority area on the prevention and management of nutrition disorders, HIV and AIDS emphasizes Government’s commitment to achieving its social development objectives. The implementation of these key priority areas will accelerate the attainment of the MDGs.

4.2 Key Priority Areas

4.2.1 Agriculture and Food Security

Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy as it employs about 80 per cent of the workforce, and contributes over 80 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. Above all it also contributes significantly to national and household food security. However, agriculture in Malawi is characterized by low and stagnant yields, over dependence on rain-fed farming which increases vulnerability to weather related shocks, low level of irrigation development, and low uptake of improved farm inputs among others. Low profitability of smallholder agriculture has also been influenced by weak links to markets, high transport costs, few farmer organizations, poor quality control and lack of information on markets and prices. In addition, due to high risks in agricultural production and poor access to credit, investment and re-investment have been poor.

Consequently, Malawi continues to suffer from chronic food insecurity at both household and national levels with many of the problems being structural and economic in nature. The main contributing factors include over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low productivity, low incomes, poor road infrastructure, poor functioning markets, weak private sector participation, poor early warning system and poor mechanization. In addition, past food security policies9 have been ineffective, resulting in stagnating aggregate food production and productivity, and poor functioning markets.

The overall goal is, therefore, to increase agriculture’s contribution to economic growth, by not only increasing production for food security, but also for agroprocessing and manufacturing for both domestic and export markets. Emphasis will be on enhancing agricultural productivity, promoting food security and agroprocessing of key crops. Agricultural Productivity

The long-term goal is to increase agriculture productivity.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

There are three main medium-term expected outcomes and these are;

  • (a) Increased value added to agricultural products by rural farmers and orient smallholder sub-sector to greater commercialisation and international competitiveness;

  • (b) Increased smallholder agricultural productivity, and

  • (c) Increased livestock production.

Key Strategies

Main strategies include:

  • Strengthening linkages of farmers to markets by connecting rural communities, targeting rural roads and developing farmer organizations and market information,

  • Encouraging the expansion and intensification of staple food production by smallholders,

  • Providing effective extension services with more decentralized service delivery for agribusiness skills,

  • Increasing the use of pest resistant varieties and promotion of pest management,

  • Promoting soil and water conservation and farming techniques;

  • Promoting irrigation farming;

  • Ensuring that existing land rights are recognized, clarified and secured by appropriate legislation, and

  • Encouraging and expansion of horticultural crop production for agro-processing Food Security

The long-term goal is to make Malawi a hunger-free nation.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome is that food will be available for all Malawians in sufficient quantities and qualities, at affordable prices.

Key Strategies.

Main strategies include:

  • Improving agricultural productivity;

  • Implementing policies to improve the functioning of maize and other food crop markets;

  • Implementing policies that do not distort the market and which reduce dependency on food aid;

  • Putting in place an effective early warning system;.

  • Promoting income generating activities;

  • Improving the coordination and management of food aid and imports; and

  • Improving the ability to import and distribute food through better domestic regional connectivity, and

  • Construction of steel bin silos in strategic areas to improve medium to long term food storage capacity. Agro-processing

The long-term goal is to increase the contribution of agro-processing to economic growth, move up the value chain in key crops, and increase exportation of agro-processed products.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The expected medium term outcome is substantial increase in contribution of agroprocessing to GDP. The food and agro-processing sub-sectors account for more than 30 percent of manufacturing output with value addition ranging between 30-35 percent. MEGS identified agro-processing as a high growth potential sector. Under the sector, processing largely concentrated on tobacco, tea, sugar, cotton and wheat. However, agro-processing of fruits and vegetables, rice, cassava, macademia, cashew nuts, irish potatoes and spices has potential for growth, but each of these are currently relatively small.

To achieve this, constraints facing the sector need to be addressed. These include poor and inadequate infrastructure such as roads and electricity. In addition, unfavourable macroeconomic environment, low level of vocational skills, weak marketing and distribution systems for raw crops, low productivity of smallholders, and high import duties on equipment.

Key Strategies

Main strategies include;

  • Improving infrastructure for agro-processing,

  • Reviewing the policy and regulatory frameworks impacting on agroprocessing

  • Building capacity for small scale enterprises, and

  • Improving productivity of smallholder farmers. Core crops of agro-processing

The agriculture sector has in the past been dominated by tobacco, tea and sugar as the major foreign exchange earners. In the medium term these crops are expected to continue to dominate amidst the challenges they are currently facing. The importance of these crops for this country cannot be overemphasized hence efforts will continue going towards these crops in order to maximise their economic contributions to the agriculture sector in particular and the economy in general. The overall goal is to achieve sustainable agricultural production and increased incomes for farmers.

(a) Tea
Medium-term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome is increased production of tea, especially clonal tea varieties that are competitive on the world market. Adoption of clonal tea is a result of the limited prospects for the low yielding varieties currently grown.10. Though tea ranks next to tobacco as a major foreign exchange earner, its production faces a number of constraints including low private sector investment in irrigation, lack of appropriate factory shells, poor marketing system and high operational costs.

Key Strategies

The tea industry will focus on increasing tea estate and smallholder profitability and reinvestment, as well as value addition. The current strategies are centred on private sector taking a leading role, while Government focuses on the broader constraints, such as availability of reliable and cheap sources of power (electricity) and the creation of a favourable macroeconomic environment. The sub-sector and Government will work together to develop focused investment incentives and other measures to strengthen the industry.

Other strategies include;

  • Promoting clonal tea variety to increase productivity,

  • Refurbishing factories,

  • Promoting market oriented processing of tea and

  • Improving the marketing system.

(b) Tobacco
Medium-term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome is value addition to tobacco and maintenance of market leader position in burley tobacco. Tobacco is the main export crop accounting for over 70.0 per cent of total export earnings. However, over the past several years, there has been a decline in average yields and profitability of Malawi’s tobacco. The sub-sector faces a number of constraints which include widespread use of low quality seed, increased incidences of disease and pests due to inadequate crop rotation, and significant post-harvest losses due to inadequate curing barn infrastructure. The decline in profitability is also due to inefficiencies in the current marketing system. The industry also faces regional competition.

Key Strategies

The main strategy is to increase production of flue cured, NDF tobaccos by rationalization of fees, creating a more efficient and fair system between farmers and auction houses, strengthening contract farming, and exploring additional markets for tobacco, including tobacco products.

Other strategies include;

  • Establishing cooperatives,

  • Promoting tobacco products processing,

  • Providing farmers with inputs, and

  • Enhancing extension services.

(c) Sugar
Medium-term Expected Outcomes

The medium term expected outcome is increased production of sugar by 23 percent. For Malawi to compete successfully as an international player in the sugar market, it needs to ensure that its sugar industry is profitable and is able to reinvest in growing and processing. However, the sub-sector is faced with a number of constraints which include access to the major European markets, and poor transport linkages to ports

Key Strategies
  • Negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with European Union to ensure fair trading of sugar,

  • Promoting out-grower schemes for smallholders, and

  • Improving inter modal transport for effective linkages to ports.

(d) Integrated Cotton Industry

The long-term goal is to develop a vibrant cotton growing and processing industry.

Medium-term Expected Outcome

The medium term outcome for the sector is increased production of garments made from locally woven cotton cloth as opposed to imported synthetic fabrics. This will require development of a local textile industry to increase the flow of cotton from growers and ginners, thereby having a positive impact on the cotton sector and opening up textile products for export. Currently, the linkages between the cotton sub-sector (production of lint cotton) and textile and garment production (manufacturing) are weak. In addition, there are opportunities for increased volumes of cotton lint export within the region, especially in South Africa and neighbouring countries.

Key Strategies

Government will encourage the integration of production, processing and marketing of cotton products.

Other strategies include:

  • Producing raw cotton and ginning;

  • Garment manufacturing for export markets;

  • Reducing out of factory costs such as transportation; and

  • Identifying and negotiating trade opportunities at the regional, international and global level.


The long-term goal is to develop a vibrant wheat production and processing industry.

Medium-term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome is increased production of wheat by expanding the current hectarage from 2000 hectares to 30000 hectares. Reliance on rainfed conditions, poor agronomic practices and seed quality, amongst other constraints have consequently led to low wheat production of below 2000 metric tonnes per annum since 1991/92 season. This is far short of the estimated national consumption of 60,000 metric tonnes per annum.

Key Strategies

The main strategy is to increase production, processing and marketing of wheat.

Other strategies include:

  • Promoting appropriate agronomic practices through extension and training;

  • Providing improved seed varieties and other farm inputs;

  • Promoting irrigation technology to expand production;

  • Promoting small and medium scale wheat processing, and

  • Improving market access and intelligence.

4.2.2 Irrigation and Water Development

Irrigation and water development is key for Malawi due to its direct linkages with agriculture and energy. Irrigation will contribute towards reduction of the over dependence on rain-fed agriculture while proper conservation of water will also contribute towards the generation of electricity. In addition, water is also an important resource for both household and industrial use hence ensuring availability of water is therefore central to achieving the MGDS objectives. Management of water supply and sanitation draws many players from donor community, public entities, civil society and private institutions. Significant progress has been made with the introduction of coordination structures for the various players in the sector. Despite this, the sector faces challenges with the degradation of water resources, inadequate services coverage, increasing water demand as a result of increasing population, HIV and AIDS prevalence, insufficient capacity, inadequate promotion of hygiene and sanitation, lack of an integrated approach to water resources management and development, climate change and lack of mitigation measures for water-related disasters.

On water resource management, the challenges are several, and these include lack of a good monitoring and evaluation system, and a good management information system resulting in improper documentation of information and lack of a consolidated database on water point allocations. In addition, vandalism and theft of water supply and sanitation facilities is wide spread in the sector.


The long-term goal is to ensure that water resources are well protected and managed to meet agricultural, domestic and industrial demands.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that Malawi will have increased access to water resources averaging a distance of 500m from communities.

Key Strategies

To achieve sustainable and integrated water resource management and development, Malawi will need more efficient and effective practices by among other things, empowering national authorities to manage using integrated water resource management approach and establish good monitoring systems. The provision of water will also be linked closely to agriculture and other environmental problems that affect water supply such as soil erosion due to poor farming practices. Main strategies include the following:

  • Constructing and promoting small and medium scale irrigation schemes to enhance food crop production.

  • Constructing multi-purpose dams that apart from generating electricity will also be used for irrigation, piped water supply, as well as promoting fish farming.

  • Improving sustainable access to water supply and sanitation in urban, peri-urban and rural areas by establishing water supply and sanitation systems using demand responsive and demand driven approaches, and the establishment of contingency water supply reserves and sanitation backups.

  • Integrating rural water supply and participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation.

  • Empowering national authorities to manage water resources using integrated water resource management approaches;

  • Establishing good monitoring systems;

  • Improving the quality of surface and ground water and developing a system for pollution control;

  • Improving sustainable access to water supply and sanitation in urban, peri urban and rural areas by among others establishing water supply and sanitation systems using demand responsive and demand driven approaches;

  • Establishing contingency water supply reserves and sanitation backups; and

  • Integrating rural water supply with participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation.

4.2.3 Transport Infrastructure Development

Better domestic and regional connectivity entails improving the current state of transport infrastructure in the country. However, the state of Malawi’s transport infrastructure is characterized by poor road network, poor and limited access to ports, limited air links, freight and rail capacity. The inadequacy of the transportation infrastructure results in high costs of production, where transportation represents 55 percent of costs, compared to 17 percent in other less developed countries. With the new policy direction, it is expected that improved transportation will contribute to reduced lead times on export, decreased cost of domestic trucking, lower costs of cross-border and transit trade with neighbouring countries, lower cost to reach domestic, regional and international markets (supply and distribution) and improved mobility and connectivity of rural producing communities to markets. Particular emphasis will be placed on the following two areas:

  • Improving mobility and accessibility of the population to key road corridors within and out of Malawi while facilitating the improved mobility and accessibility of rural communities to goods and services in the rural areas at low cost.

  • Implementing the Shire Zambezi Waterway programme in order to open up the country to the Indian Ocean. Road Transport

High transport costs and poor access to some parts of the country remain an important threat to fostering economic growth in Malawi. High transport costs partly result from the country’s landlocked position and small market size and also from the continuing inefficient operating environment faced by the domestic and international operators in spite of liberalization of the transport sector. Poor access roads mainly result from the deteriorating condition of the country’s overall road network, especially in the rural areas. This problem is compounded by the enormous backlog for maintenance of the road infrastructure, unsafe and impassable road network (37 percent is in poor condition), lack of competition, and high road taxes which increases the cost of trucking. Poor quality feeder roads also impact on the ability of rural areas to engage in economic activities.


The long-term goal is to reduce the cost of road transportation in order to contribute positively to economic growth.

Expected Medium Term Outcome

In the medium-term improved transportation is expected to contribute to reduced lead times on export, decreased cost of domestic trucking, lower costs of cross-border and transit trade, lower cost to reach domestic, regional and international markets and improved mobility and connectivity of rural communities to markets. Efforts will emphasise on improving mobility and accessibility of the population to key road corridors within and outside Malawi while facilitating improved mobility and accessibility of rural communities to goods and services in the rural areas at low cost.

Key Strategies

The strategies will concentrate on ensuring availability of adequate, safe, reliable, efficient and economical transport services in key corridors that meet the country’s current road transport needs and aligned to the future vision. Main strategies will include:

  • Providing adequate network of roads based on appropriate standards through rehabilitation and upgrading of “all weather” roads to meet sub-regional agreed standards;

  • Undertaking routine road maintenance to clear backlog through use of modified “Performance-Based Term Maintenance Contracts”;

  • Building the capacity of local private sector to construct quality roads;

  • Replacing timber-deck bridges with concrete decks;

  • Maintaining urban and rural road networks;

  • Upgrading all unpaved roads from fair to good condition;

  • Involving the private sector in the monitoring and operations of road transport services;

  • Implementing appropriate road user charges;

  • Harmonising the country’s highway code, road signs, signals and axle-load regulations within the region;

  • Improving information coordination on the flow of regional and international cargo through the development of private sector freight forwarding companies; and

  • Creating one stop border post on all major transport corridors to allow for the smooth flow of traffic and developing an integrated approach to road safety. Water Transport

Water provides a better and cheaper alternative means of transport for certain parts of the country and as a link to the sea. Malawi has not benefited much from this mode of transport because the port system is inadequate to handle the present exports of agro-processing industry and imports. Furthermore, siltation at Beira, which is the nearest port, is a major constraint. Given the current transport bottlenecks, this mode of transport has been prioritised as an alternative means for export-led growth. Government, therefore, has an obligation to maintain the ports and explore ways to involve the private sector. In view of this, Government has prioritised the Shire Zambezi waterway project as the main activity in this sub-sector.


The long-term goal is to open up the linkages to the sea.

Expected Medium Term Outcome

The expected medium term outcome is to ensure an active inland shipping network in local and international shipping, and that trade and tourism are facilitated in a safe manner while protecting the environment.

Key Strategies

For the water transport to be effective, the sub-sector will have to be closely linked to the rail and road networks. For instance developing the Shire Zambezi Waterways will demand that the rail from Nsanje to major commercial cities like Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu be developed or rehabilitated for maximum benefit. Main strategies will include:

  • Developing an efficient and productive maritime transport system that meets national and regional requirements; and

  • Dredging, opening up channels and acquiring badges or ships, which would navigate the Shire River through Zambezi and to the Indian ocean.

4.2.4 Energy Generation and Supply

Energy is a crucial input into any industrial processing and serves as the life-blood for any economy. Malawi is relatively well endowed with a wide variety of energy resources but a full potential of the energy sub-sector remains far from being realized owing to a number of structural, operational and institutional challenges. The provision of energy in Malawi is inadequate, unreliable and inaccessible to all who need it. This is mainly due to lack of competition in the sector; siltation resulting from deforestation; poor farming practices and management; weeds and water hyacinth on the Shire River which affects hydro-generation; expensive spare parts which inhibit maintenance of equipment leading to frequent breakdowns; and lack of progress on regional interconnection and commitment to tap into other energy sources. In addition to these challenges is the limitation of public investment in power generation and widespread vandalism of equipment.

A well-developed energy sub-sector can enhance stable supply of power, increased generation and transmission capacity for improved service delivery and increased output in the economic and social sectors, respectively. Increased generation and transmission capacity of electricity will support other programmes such as Malawi Rural Electrification Project (MAREP). The sub-sector also has strong backward and forward linkages with other sub-sectors, for instance, use of power transmission lines would also increase capacity for telecommunications. The objective of the MGDS is to reduce the number and duration of blackouts, increase access to reliable, affordable electricity in rural areas and other targeted areas, improve coordination and the balance between the needs for energy and those of other high growth sectors such as tourism and mining.


The long-term goal is to generate sufficient amount of energy to meet the economic and social demands.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that the country will have accessible, reliable and sustainable energy supply. At the same time, rural communities will begin to use alternative energy supplies in underserved areas while managing energy related environmental impacts.

Key Strategies

To achieve an efficient energy supply, strong inter-sectoral linkages especially with the water, natural resources and agriculture sectors will have to be established. An efficient supply of hydropower requires a constant supply of water through proper conservation of catchment areas, connections to neighbouring countries and exploring into other sources of energy. The sub-sector will also require strong public-private partnerships especially in generation, distribution and transmission. Main strategies include:

  • Improving efficiency in generation, transmission and distribution;

  • Ensuring provision of reliable electrification to key mining, irrigation, business, tourism, and other economic activities.

  • Improving management of Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) and other service providers

  • Accelerating implementation of regional interconnectivity;

  • Constructing mini hydro power stations along the Shire and other major rivers to supplement electricity supply in the three regions.

  • Expanding the Rural Electrification Programme (increase resources, promote development of micro hydropower stations and use of solar energy for off grid power supply) and use of both grid and off-grid options;

  • Ensuring that energy provision takes into account and puts in place measures to deal with negative environmental impacts that may set in, and

  • Encouraging private sector investment in energy generation, transmission and distribution.

4.2.5 Integrated Rural Development

The MGDS recognize that broad based economic growth and development cannot be achieved if rural areas with potential for growth are sidelined. In this context, Government will strive to promote integrated rural development among other things through rural growth centers. This is expected to resuscitate the rural economies and transform them into potential engines for economic growth that will contribute to sustainable growth that will result in re-distribution of wealth to all citizens while also mitigating the negative consequences of rural-urban migration. Emphasis will be placed on infrastructure development such as roads and communications, energy supply, agro-processing and manufacturing. This is envisaged to promote private sector investment that will create employment and improve incomes of the rural people.


The long-term goal is to develop rural growth centers to contribute effectively to economic growth through the creation of employment opportunities thereby enhance redistribution of wealth to all citizens and reduce rural-urban migration.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium-term it is expected that developed rural growth centers will create employment that will enhance incomes for rural communities and in-turn reduce rural-urban migration trends.

Key Strategies;

Integrated rural development calls for coordinated efforts from a number areas. In particular, the provision of key infrastructure is a prerequisite if rural growth centers are to develop. As such, the main strategies will include the following:

  • Promoting the growth and development of rural growth centers through the provision of utilities and communications network to facilitate the linkage of production areas to markets;

  • Implementing rural electrification programme effectively;

  • Promoting and implementing economic empowerment programes such as MARDEF and OVOP; and

  • Improving the process of providing title to land in order to encourage investment through ownership of land.

4.2.6 Prevention and Management of Nutrition Disorders, HIV and AIDS

Malawi like many other Sub-Saharan African countries has been severely affected by HIV and AIDS. Its impact remains devastating and the country’s efforts are inadequate given the pace of the spread of HIV and AIDS. Poverty and HIV and AIDS are reciprocally influenced. Despite coordinated efforts the country still faces a number of challenges in containing the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS on development. The HIV and AIDS pandemic has compounded the dual burden of malnutrition and disease. It increases the body’s need for micronutrients, calories and protein while simultaneously decreasing the body’s ability to work. This means that as more nutritious food is needed within a household, less labour is available with which to produce or obtain it. This leads to less nutritious food for everyone else in the household and inadequate diet for the person living with HIV and AIDS. This means that tackling HIV and AIDS problems alone will not be a lasting solution. As such, Government advocates the need for addressing issues of HIV and AIDS and nutrition as a package. This will translate in increased knowledge of the interaction between nutrition and HIV and AIDS; improved and diversified dietary practices for people living with HIV and AIDS; and increased provision of HIV and AIDS-related nutrition interventions. HIV and AIDS Prevention and Management

HIV and AIDS is a socio-cultural, economic, political, development and health issue which has brought havoc to all sectors of the economy in Malawi and other developing countries. This has created a big human power shortage of ranging between 25-60 percent in developing countries. It is a social problem because of its negative consequences on the communities and social structures. It is a cultural issue because some cultural practices and beliefs fuel the spread of the disease and mask positive traits of the system while encouraging stigma, discrimination and denial. It is a political problem because a sick person will not contribute to the political development of the country. It is a health issue because it affects directly a large number of people and the health-care system itself or fabrics of society. HIV and AIDS is an economic issue as it leads to reduction in economic growth by reducing the productivity of the labour force and drains investment resources in all sectors. HIV and AIDS is a development issue because it affects negatively all sectors of the economy.

Malawi like many other Sub-Saharan African countries has been severely affected by HIV and AIDS. The first case was reported in 1985 and to-date, despite so many years of national response, the impact remains devastating and the country’s efforts are inadequate given the pace of the spread of HIV and AIDS. Poverty and HIV and AIDS are reciprocally influenced and Malawi happens to have more than 52.4 percent of its population living in poverty. The national adult HIV prevalence in the reproductive age group of 15-49 years has slightly declined from 14.4percent in 2003 to 14.0 percent in 2005. HIV and AIDS prevalence among antenatal clients has also declined from 19.8 percent in 2003 to 16.9 percent in 2005. Approximately 930,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS, including 70,000 children under the age of 15. According to the Malawi Demographic Health Survey (MDHS 2004), prevalence of HIV and AIDS was estimated at 12.8 percent of the population and around 30-35 percent of all pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years and 640,000 people have died of AIDS at a rate of 86,000-100,000 annually. HIV and AIDS is now the leading cause of death in the most productive age group, resulting in 50,000 to 70,000 adult and child deaths annually. HIV and AIDS mortality rate is close to 700 deaths per 100,000 people. Out of Malawi’s one million orphans, 500,000 have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. A fifth of all households in Malawi take care of one or more orphans; 49 percent of these are female headed

Malawi’s response to HIV and AIDS began in 1986, initially concentrating on preventing further transmission of the virus. Since then Malawi has demonstrated increased commitment to addressing HIV and AIDS through the establishment of the National AIDS Commission (NAC) in July 2001 to manage a multi-sectoral response to the pandemic. The country has made substantial investment to build and maintain a positive partnership with donors, bilateral and multilateral organizations and various stakeholders. Recently, Government has established the Malawi Partnership Forum on AIDS, where all stakeholders come under one umbrella for improved coordination and harmonization of the national response.

Over the past fifteen years the country has moved from a point of denial to a situation where there is almost universal awareness of HIV and AIDS. In response to the burden of the epidemic on the formal health care system, the Government has encouraged communities and households to take up the challenge of providing home based care and support. At present, public organizations, community-based organizations (CBOs), Civil Society organizations, public, and private sector institutions have all become engaged in various ways in the fight against HIV and AIDS. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of community groups providing home based care as well as increased number of trained community home based care providers. In order to institutionalise work on nutrition, HIV and AIDS, the Department of Nutrition and HIV and AIDS in the Office of the President and Cabinet was created to coordinate these activities.

Nonetheless, Malawi still faces a number of challenges in containing the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS on development. Key constraints in containing the HIV and AIDS scourge are: hunger and poverty which make individuals more vulnerable to infection; inadequate supply of Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and access to nutritious diets; low levels of education; limited institutional capacity; deep-rooted harmful socio-cultural values and practices, beliefs and traditions and poor coordination amongst the service providers.


The long-term goal is to prevent further spread of HIV and AIDS and mitigate its impact on the socio-economic and psychosocial status of the general population and high risk groups.

Medium-term Expected Outcomes

The medium-term expected outcomes include: improved behaviour change of people particularly the high risk groups which include the youth, commercial sex workers, mobile and other vulnerable populations; increased number of people accessing voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) management services; increased number of women accessing the Preventive Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services; improved health status or extended life of the infected people through increased uptake of ARVs and nutritious diets and nutrition therapy; and community home based care services; protection and care of children and families affected by AIDS; and improved planning, management and coordination of all stakeholders and development partners in the fight against HIV and AIDS increased number of traditional counsellors trained in HIV and AIDS education.

Key Strategies

HIV and AIDS requires a multi-pronged approach of prevention and treatment to reduce its spread and impact. Main strategies include:

  • Improving knowledge and capacity of young people, orphans, the elderly and physically challenged and other vulnerable groups to practice safer sexual intercourse and increase their access to HIV testing and counselling; and behaviour change.

  • Initiating and strengthening joint planning, monitoring and evaluation processes among national authorities, stakeholders and development partners;

  • Implementing and increasing equitable access to ARVs and treatment of opportunistic infections;

  • Building and strengthening the capacity of public and private organizations to mainstream HIV and AIDS into their core businesses;

  • Promoting high quality community home-based care services, adequate nutrition, including provision of nutrition therapy for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHA);

  • Expanding services for prevention of mother to child transmission, testing and counselling, access to condoms, STI management, and access to behaviour change communication;

  • Integrating the elderly, orphans and the physically challenged affected by HIV and AIDS into the mainstream development

  • Promoting adequate nutrition, including provision of nutrition therapy that cover assessment, counselling, education and demonstration, supplementary feeding, therapeutic feeding, referral to health facility and production of high nutritive value foods for a nutritious diet to HIV and AIDS individuals;

  • Producing, enacting and enforcing HIV and AIDS legislation.

  • Improving the provision of support and protection of the infected and affected groups; and

  • Building capacity at all levels in the national response to HIV and AIDS with special focus for local service delivery. Nutrition

Nutrition is associated with health in the sense that malnutrition can lead to ill health. Malnutrition is both a cause and a consequence of poverty in developing countries and continues to retard economic growth and development. The effect of under nutrition is wasting, under-weight, stunting and mental retardation, which has far reaching consequences. A poorly nourished body is primary and highly susceptible to infections such as Tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, HIV and AIDS. Under nutrition is a factor commonly associated with maternal and child/infant mortality. Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is very high in Malawi, with under-five children stunting at 48.0 percent; wasting at 5.0 percent, increasing to 9.0 percent during the lean periods. Micronutrient malnutrition such as sub-clinical Vitamin A deficiency is at 80.0 percent of pre-school children, 38.0 percent of school age children, 57.0 percent of child-bearing age women and 38.0 percent in men. Anaemia is at 73.0 percent of pre-school aged children, 22.0 percent of school aged children, 46.0 percent of non-pregnant women, 47.0 percent of pregnant women, and 17.0 percent of men. Iodine deficiency disorders are also common despite Malawi’s adoption of Salt Iodization Act. It is estimated that 64.0 percent of children have low Intelligent Quotient (IQ) in areas with high iodine disorders.

The underlying causes of under-nutrition include household food insecurity resulting from inadequate food production or low incomes; poor child feeding and care practices; inadequate education and lack of knowledge which lead to poor food processing and utilization and sometimes cultural beliefs which deny women and children consumption of high nutritive value foods. In addition, poor institutional coordination of nutrition programmes has also been a big constraint.


The long-term goal is to ensure nutritional well-being of all Malawians.

Medium-term Expected Outcome

The key expected medium-term outcomes are effective utilization of quality food and the biological utilization of nutrients in the body; reduced levels of under nutrition; reduced incidences of dietary related non-communicable diseases and micro-nutrient disorders; increased human productivity; and strengthened structures and coordination for implementation of policy and programme and enhanced capacity for nutritionists and dieticians at all levels.

Key Strategies

Effective implementation of the nutrition strategies will require co-ordination among the key stakeholders. To successfully achieve the intended goal and outcomes, to a greater extent, will rely on what happens in other sectors like agriculture and food security, education, health and gender. Main strategies include;

  • Promoting the control, prevention and treatment of micro-nutrient deficiency disorders particularly those caused by vitamin A, iodine and iron deficiencies;

  • Promoting control, prevention and treatment of diseases that have direct impact on nutrition and human well-being;

  • Intensifying community nutrition assessment, counselling, education and demonstration, supplementary and therapeutic feeding, referral to Nutrition Rehabilitation Units;

  • Promoting the production of nutritious foods and livestock;

  • Harmonizing and improving food and nutrition security information system for evidence based interventions;

  • Reviewing and including nutrition in curricula of all learning and training institutions;

  • Targeting the elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers, under five and school going children, orphans and the physically challenged with nutrition services to improve their well-being;

  • Enhancing co-ordination of nutrition programmes;

  • Building capacity for nutritionists, dieticians, and community nutrition workers;

  • Producing, enacting and enforcing nutrition legislation; and

  • Monitoring and managing dietary related non-communicable maladies. Interaction of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS affects nutrition through increases in resting energy expenditure, reduction in food intake, poor nutrient absorption and loss, and complex metabolic alterations that culminate in weight loss and wasting. Malnutrition reduces overall immunity and increases the risk of diseases and related conditions, which expedite the progression of HIV into AIDS. HIV, in turn, destroys the natural immune system and increases the risk of infections and diseases. These diseases prevent adequate intake and uptake of vital nutrients. Additionally, both the disease itself and antiretroviral therapy increase the body’s overall nutrient demand. As the virus progresses from Stage 1 to Stage 2, a child’s energy demand increases by 10.0 percent, and by up to 20.0 percent at Stage 3. In HIV positive adults, caloric need can increase up to 30-40.0 percent above the normal recommended daily energy requirement in stage 3.

The HIV and AIDS pandemic has accordingly compounded the dual burden of malnutrition and disease. HIV and other chronic diseases increase the body’s need for micronutrients, calories and protein while simultaneously decreasing the body’s ability to work. This means that as more nutritious food is needed within a household, less labour is available with which to produce or obtain it. This leads to less nutritious food for everyone else in the household and inadequate diet for the person living with HIV/AIDS.


The long-term goal is to improve the nutritional status and support services for people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Medium-term Expected Outcomes

The medium-term expected outcomes include increased knowledge of the interaction between nutrition and HIV and AIDS; improved and diversified dietary practices for people living with HIV and AIDS; and increased provision of HIV and AIDS-related nutrition interventions.11

Key Strategies
  • ▪ Recruitment and training of adequate personnel;

  • ▪ Reviewing and including nutrition, HIV and AIDS interaction in education curricula of all learning and training institutions;

  • ▪ Compiling and disseminating best approaches to providing nutritional therapy to PLHA;

  • ▪ Building capacity for nutrition service providers on specialised nutrition care for PLHAs;

  • ▪ Providing workplace-based nutrition therapy to enhance positive living for PLHAs;

  • ▪ Facilitating access to sustainable economic social protection for households affected by HIV and AIDS; and

  • ▪ Building capacity at all levels with special focus on service delivery.

Chapter 5: MGDS THEMES

This chapter summarizes the other focus areas of the MGDS and these are outlined in the five themes that represent a broad framework of the economic growth and development priorities for Malawi. The six key priority areas discussed in the previous chapter have been singled out from these thematic areas being areas where Government will concentrate its efforts in the short to medium-term in order to realize immediate economic benefits for the well being of the people. The other focus areas outlined in the themes are also priorities for Malawi as the country strives to create a favourable environment for active private sector participation and investment in order to diversify the economic base, develop human resource base, promote good governance, and protect the most vulnerable people who may not benefit from the process of economic development. The five themes have been developed to offer a comprehensive package that deals with diverse issues facing this country. Government will pursue these issues with vigour there by achieve socio-economic development but also attain the MDGs. The five thematic areas are: Sustainable Economic Growth; Social Protection; Social Development; Infrastructure development and Improved Governance.

5.1 Theme One: Sustainable Economic Growth

Sustainable economic growth is central to Malawi’s ability to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs. Without this growth, it will be impossible to deliver Government’s vision of creating wealth and employment for all the people of Malawi, transforming from a consumption-based economy to a production-based economy, and gradually emerging as an industrial nation.

To this end, Malawi will seek to increase domestic and foreign investment in productive sectors. It will also seek to promote exports by addressing supply constraints, to diversify the economy and ensure that this growth is shared among all Malawians. The strategy for sustained economic growth requires action on multiple fronts in order to deliver on these national goals. These include: maximizing the contribution to economic growth through the potential growth sectors; putting in place an enabling environment for private sector led growth; improving regional integration; and empowering rural communities to be part of economic activities.

Sustainable economic growth is comprised of six sub themes namely; potential growth sectors, enabling environment for private sector led growth, export-led growth, conservation of the natural resource base, economic empowerment, land and housing. Sub themes on agriculture and food security that are particularly key for the development of this country hence have been singled out and placed as a key priority area and are discussed in Chapter 4. Table 5.1 presents a summary of the long-term goals and medium-term expected outcomes of the sub themes under sustainable economic growth.

Table 5.1:

Summary of Theme One: Sustainable Economic Growth

article image
article image

5.1.1 Sub Theme One: Maximizing contribution to economic growth through potential growth sectors

The economy has shown fluctuating, but generally low growth rates over the last decade. The real GDP growth has been highly variable, mainly because of the poor performance of the agricultural sector due to over-dependence on rainfed agriculture, unfavourable macro-economic environment and high cost of production. The low growth rates, coupled with a population growth rate of nearly 2.0 percent per annum, have resulted in a sharp fall in per capita consumption. In general, there has been limited progress on economic base diversification. Therefore, agriculture continues to be the main source of economic growth for Malawi. The industrial sector remains basic and is constrained by high real interest rates, high transport and energy costs. Overall, the economy is vulnerable to a number of factors such as drought, high transport costs, and over-dependence on unreliable external aid.

Exports remain heavily concentrated in a narrow range of primary commodities, with tobacco accounting for over 70.0 percent of foreign exchange earnings. The majority of these commodities are sold at low and declining world prices. This is a result of limited value addition capacity within the manufacturing sector. Economic growth is further constrained by the land-locked nature of Malawi, low per capita income resulting in low effective demand within the country; unreliable infrastructure, chronic food insecurity and limited opportunities for exports. These represent special barriers to private investment and the strategies herein are designed to address these Malawi specific barriers.

For Malawi to achieve an annual economic growth rate of at least 6.0 percent, there must be a concerted effort by the private sector, Government, and all stakeholders to accelerate growth and economic diversification. In much as the economy continues to be driven by the agricultural sector, the other sectors of manufacturing, mining, tourism and agro-processing will play an important role in generating economic growth. As such the creation of a favourable macroeconomic environment will be a prerequisite for investment in these sectors.

The goal is to increase productivity, diversify the economy and achieve export led growth. To attain this, potential growth sectors will be positioned to realise the targeted economic growth and increase employment. The MEGS identified tourism, mining, manufacturing among others as potential high growth sectors. Currently, these sectors face specific constraints that hinder their ability to reach full potential. MGDS will, therefore, focus on addressing these specific constraints and engage private sector in honest dialogue to implement strategies to achieve the desired medium term outcomes. .

(a) Tourism
Long-term Goal

Increase the contribution of tourism to GDP from 1.8 percent to 8.0 percent by 2011.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

To establish Malawi as a principal and leading eco-tourism destination in Africa. Apart from looking for tourists outside Malawi, there is also an opportunity to increase domestic tourism. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism is expected to generate 7.1 percent of new jobs annually in Malawi. It is expected that the contribution of the tourism sector to GDP will increase from 1.8 percent in 2005 to 8.0 percent by 2011. A number of constraints need to be addressed in order to achieve the expected outcome. These include; high transport costs and poor access roads to tourist destinations, poor and uncoordinated promotion activities, and threats to flora and fauna.

Key Strategies

Government will work closely with the private sector to strategically diversify tourism products, identify niche opportunities, and make Malawi’s tourist destinations a good value proposition against competitors in the region. To facilitate private sector investment in tourism Government will priotitise the construction and rehabilitation of roads and landing strips to key destinations, build capacity of communities in tourism through tailor-made courses in training institutions and coordinate efforts for a unified position on tourism promotion to reach potential customers in international and regional markets.

The main strategies include:

  • Develop quality and diversified products and services based on the natural and cultural resource heritage to attract tourists;

  • Increase capacity to service additional tourists in accommodation facilities that are competitive with other tourist destinations in the region, including transportation links to tourism destinations;

  • Improve the reach of tourism products to domestic, regional and international markets; and

  • Facilitate investment, infrastructure development and visitor management programmes in undeveloped areas with proven tourism potential.

b) Mining

To increase the contribution of the mining sector to GDP by at least 10 percent annually.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome for mining is to increase production output and value added by small, medium and large-scale miners, to supply industrial raw materials in the country (import substitution) and to begin exporting minerals. To achieve this, a number of constraints facing the sector need to be addressed. These include; lack of up-to-date information on mineral resources, poorly coordinated institutional setting, high initial investment costs and inadequate incentives for private sector to engage in medium scale mining. In addition, small-scale miners lack skills to add value to mineral products, while electricity disruptions threaten production and safety of miners.

Key Strategies

Government will work with mining companies to accelerate the geological and mineral data acquisition and dissemination to strengthen public-private partnerships in infrastructure provision. It will continue to provide extension services to small-scale miners to learn value added skills. It will also improve the regulation and monitoring of mining to reduce threats to the environment, enforce safety standards, and reduce smuggling.

Main strategies include:

  • Strengthening the institutional capacity of Geological Surveys to effectively promote mining, monitoring and enforcement of environmental safety standards;

  • Ensuring compliance by small, medium and large scale miners to environmental and safety standards;

  • Supporting small scale miners by integrating them into the minerals market and increasing their value added;

  • Increasing investment by private sector companies in medium and large scale mining; and

  • Providing up-to-date information and geographical mapping on mineral resources.

C) Manufacturing

The long-term goal is to increase manufacturing output with growing value addition, export development and employment creation.

Medium-term Expected Outcome

The medium term outcome for the sector is to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to economic growth. Currently, the sector is small, output has stagnated and there is low capacity utilization across all sub-sectors. Capacity utilization is hindered by high cost of doing business and poor management. Most firms use relatively simple technology and rely on imports for their intermediate inputs. In addition, the industry faces difficulties in accessing markets due to low product quality and high costs of inputs, poor infrastructure (roads, water, and energy) and a discretionary system of taxes, rebates and incentives.

Key Strategies

The Government will work with the private sector to establish conditions for manufacturing to take off. The private sector will look for ways to strengthen the links with raw material sources, especially in the agricultural sector and consider additional processing in the rural areas. Government will also take appropriate measures to promote private sector investment among other things through empowering indigenous businesses.

Main strategies include:

  • Improving the quality of products and productivity of both labour and capital;

  • Enhancing skills through better integration of science and technology into vocational training;

  • Enhancing the capabilities of Malawi Bureau of Standards and other related bodies to perform their functions;

  • Developing additional incentives for investment including redefining the roles and responsibilities of support institutions, and working to target infrastructure phasing to the benefit of the manufacturing sector; and.

  • Reducing the cost of doing business by reviewing licenses, taxes and good governance.

5.1.2 Sub Theme Two: Enabling Environment for Private Sector Development

Government recognizes that the private sector is an engine for growth and wealth creation. In Malawi, the private sector is not well developed. Private sector investment has remained very low averaging around 3.0 percent of GDP. This low level of investment has negatively affected the economy’s ability to diversify the economic base and exports. This situation has arisen due to poor macroeconomic environment, high transportation costs, and supply-side constraints. The participation of private investors in the economy has also remained limited due to low investor confidence, poor management, and limited domestic market.


The long-term goal is to create an enabling environment for private sector to increase domestic and foreign investment. To achieve this goal, Government will support, encourage and engage the private sector and all relevant stakeholders in result oriented dialogue to ensure tangible improvement in the business environment. Emphasis will be on economic policy, legal framework, infrastructure and good governance. Deliberate efforts will also be made to empower the indigenous Malawians so that they benefit from their engagement in the economic activities.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

It is expected that in the medium term there will be an increase in the number of local firms producing goods that are competitive in regional and international markets. MEGS highlights a number of constraints currently facing the private sector in Malawi. These include deterioration of infrastructure, irregular power supply, unreliable water supply and sanitation services, low access to credit, high tax rates and high transport costs.

There is also a significant shortage of skilled workers to supply the private sector with a productive workforce. The education system is not producing enough graduates to meet current and future economic needs. Besides, training offered is inappropriate for business needs. This is further compounded by productivity losses due to high incidences of malaria, HIV and AIDS.

Key Strategies.
  • Improving infrastructure especially access to reliable and seasonally priced electricity, water and improved inter-modal transport to regional and domestic markets through direct investment, privatisation, build, operate and transfer arrangements and public-private partnerships;

  • Improving vocational training by focusing on improving the TEVET system;

  • Improve worker productivity and ability of firms to produce quality products

  • Implementing tax reforms;

  • Improving coordination for domestic and international investors and access to information.

  • Improving micro-finance schemes and programmes;

  • Ensuring secure land registration and functioning land markets; and

  • Promotion of occupational safety and labour protection.

5.1.3 Sub Theme Three: Export Led Growth


The long-term goal is to turn Malawi from being a net importer to a net exporter and effectively integrate it into regional and international markets.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

The medium term expected outcome is to increase the number of firms that are producing products that are competitive on regional and international markets. The national export strategy will include promoting production of goods and services where Malawi has comparative advantage to take advantage of the existing regional markets. There are a number of constraints to achieve this and these are unfavourable macroeconomic environment, poor infrastructure, high transport costs, unfavourable terms of trade, over-reliance on neighbouring countries for transportation of imports and exports due to the land-locked nature of Malawi, and lack of direct flights to Europe seriously undermines the potential for both tourism and the exportation of high value fresh agricultural and horticultural produce.

Key Strategies.
  • Reducing cost of reaching external markets due to infrastructure by focusing on linkages through Mozambique, the Shire Zambezi waterway, and reduced restrictions on air transport;

  • Reducing lead times on export and improved efficiency by improving the efficiency of customs, harmonizing border crossing with neighbours;

  • Improving marketability of products to international markets by improving certification (coupled with efforts under the enabling environment) and developing science and technology;

  • Improving trade network and information for firms for export; and

  • Maximizing the benefits of trade through better knowledge.

5.1.4 Sub Theme Four: Conservation of the natural resource base

Conservation of the natural resource base is an important factor that will contribute to the achievement of the sustained economic growth and development objectives of the MGDS. It is recognised that weak management of natural resources is a major problem in Malawi. This is exacerbated by population growth, environmental degradation, and encroachment of agricultural and settlement activities on forestry and marginal lands. There are three main areas of focus: fisheries, forestry, and wildlife conservation management. The goal is to improve management of fish species, forestry and wildlife biodiversity and reduce environmental degradation and conserve the natural resource base, while contributing to economic growth.

(a) Fisheries

Fish from Lake Malawi is a major source of the population’s protein requirement, and the industry provides direct and indirect employment. However, this sub-sector is characterized by low productivity, decline in fishery levels due to over exploitation, poor pre- and post-harvest handling by communities, and poor enforcement of legislation and preservation of fish.


The long-term goal is to maintain fish species and bio-diversity.

Medium term expected outcome

The medium term outcome is to ensure sustained fish availability for food and nutrition security as well as income generation. It is expected that an estimated 500 fish-ponds will be constructed/ rehabilitated and stocked with fish for breeding in the next five years.

Key Strategies

The main strategy is to increase and sustain the productivity of small and large scale fisheries for both domestic and export markets. To achieve this, the following actions will be pursued among others;

  • Enforcing legislation to ensure sustainable production of fish;

  • Promoting the use of modern techniques of fishing;

  • Capacity building through community training; and

  • Development of small-scale fish farming and deep-water fishing.

(b) Forestry

The long-term goal is to reduce environmental degradation.

Medium term expected outcomes

The medium term outcome is to ensure sustainable use and management of forestry resources. Currently there is a high rate of deforestation and uncoordinated management of forestry resources resulting in a lack of policy coherence. The denudation of forest cover accelerates soil erosion and also erodes natural resource-based livelihoods. This is also caused by high dependence on wood as a source of household energy, limited skilled manpower, and dependence on public forests for raw materials. An estimated 200,000 hectares of forest-land is expected to be replanted by year 2011 in order to reverse the negative impacts of deforestation.

Key Strategies
  • Improving productivity and value added by the industrial forestry sector, while balancing it with sustainable practices;

  • Increasing reforestation efforts for key areas;

  • Improving enforcement of regulations for forestry management;

  • Initiating afforestation and environmental rehabilitation programmes in priority areas; and

  • Introducing incentives for private sector participation in forestry.

(c) Environmental Protection

The long-term goal is to conserve natural resource base through sustainable use and management of natural resources and the environment.

Expected medium term outcome

The medium term expected outcome is improved compliance with environment and natural resource management laws. The main constraints to improved compliance include weak enforcement capacity, few economic incentives for compliance, and conflicting service delivery in management of natural resources. In addition, there is very limited environmental awareness in Malawi.

Key Strategies
  • Improving enforcement of environmental policies and legislation;

  • Improving cooperation in environmental management, natural resource management and development;

  • Raising awareness of issues of environmental protection;

  • Incorporating environmental issues in school curricula; and

  • Establishing of an environmental management information system.

(d) Wildlife

The long-term goal is to conserve and manage protected areas and wildlife.

Medium-term expected outcome

The medium term expected outcome is to conserve, manage and develop wildlife resources to effectively contribute towards sustainable development of biodiversity and the tourism industry in Malawi. Wildlife forms a big percentage of tourism attraction. The sub-sector is constrained by a number of factors and these include; poaching, poor infrastructure development, Tsetse fly infestation, human-animal conflicts and understaffing.

Key strategies
  • Enforcing wildlife law;

  • Improving protected area infrastructure;

  • Eradicating tsetse flies in protected areas;

  • Improving capacity and institutional building for collaborative management;

  • Improving capacity for problem animal control;

  • Improving eco-tourism in protected areas; and

  • Improving wildlife research and monitoring capacity.

5.1.5 Sub Theme Five: Economic Empowerment

Malawi’s experience with economic empowerment programmes can be traced to the early 1960s. Despite the various initiatives by Government, donors, and NGOs, most Malawians are still involved in low-return, small-scale enterprises. The large-scale, high-value businesses are owned by foreigners and a minority of Malawians. Situational analysis as part of the development of National Economic Empowerment Policy shows that lack of empowerment is caused by a number of factors and manifests itself in the inability by the majority of citizens to control their economic destiny. It affects citizens depending on their race, gender, age, location and economic disposition.

Rural communities are most affected by lack of facilities and infrastructure supporting the development of businesses. With over 85.0 percent of the population living in rural areas, there is need to specifically target rural communities if a significant impact in empowering Malawians is to be made. This will require that private investment in these areas is fostered and the culture of handouts and political patronage to rural communities is curtailed.

Despite past efforts, women in Malawi remain marginalized compared to men. Women have less access to education, credit, land, and property. In addition, they have less access to employment opportunities both in the public and private sectors, technology, and other key market information to support their business activities. Unemployment among the youth has worsened over the last 20 years. Increasingly, the youth are completing their education with very little prospect of securing a job, or engaging in entrepreneurial activities. Due to lack of experience, very few employers are willing to recruit and train them on the job.

Finally, people with disabilities are usually the most affected in terms of access to assets and other facilities required to become economically empowered. They experience difficulties accessing financial services and capital, skills development programmes, and technology developments. They are also the most affected by poor infrastructure such as roads, communication, and buildings not designed to accommodate or meet their special needs. A coherent and integrated approach is needed to contribute towards solving the various causes of disempowerment, which exist in different sectors of the poor and disadvantaged in Malawi.


The long-term goal is to create wealth for all people.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome is to increase the productivity of rural communities and businesses, employment and income, increase the number of women and youth who are actively participating in public and private sectors and to ensure that the urban poor are able to contribute to economic development. Despite the various economic empowerment initiatives that Malawi has undertaken so far, many challenges remain that hinder Malawians from exploiting their full potential to participate in wealth creation. These include weak linkages to markets and few incentives for rural communities to organize themselves for productivity enhancement, limited access to micro-credit and high default rates, lack of business advisory services or training opportunities, and an increase in rural-urban migration.

Key Strategies

Economic empowerment has many facets, and therefore requires a multi-pronged approach. This requires proper coordination to avoid overlaps and conflicts. While many economic empowerment initiatives exist in Malawi, there is no overall coordinating institution. Many policies have not been implemented because there has been no specialised institution to take full responsibility and authority. To be effective, proper coordination, management, monitoring and evaluation of all economic empowerment initiatives are needed. The main strategies include;

  • Targeting infrastructure development to ensure that rural roads link rural communities to markets;

  • Developing rural cooperatives to lower transaction costs of dealing with rural entrepreneurs and helping communities increase their bargaining power. This will be through targeted programs for rural areas complemented by current programs undertaken by agro-processing companies;

  • Strengthening the policy environment for micro-finance, including improved coordination of donor programs to decrease market distortions. This will focus on providing innovative credit schemes and developing a network of practitioners while enhancing mechanisms to decrease the default rate;

  • Offering vocational training and other training for small businesses; and

  • Targeting women and their participation in growth through business programs.

5.1.6 Sub Theme Six: Land and Housing

Land is a basic factor of production as well as an important source of livelihood for most Malawians. There are three legally recognised types of land tenure in Malawi: customary, private and public. Customary land tenure is the most widespread category. However, other sub-tenures that are commonly practised by customary landholders (renting and borrowing) are not legally recognised. Registered private land (freehold and leasehold) accounts for less than 8.0 percent of the land area. Inadequate access to land has been identified as one of the critical factors contributing to poverty in the country. The land sector impacts on poverty in three main ways: inequitable access to productive resources and processes, unequal land distribution, and land tenure insecurity. However, discrimination in access to land based on social status, economic status and gender is a major constraint. For example, it is easier for rich people to access land than the poor, or where influential members of clans make unilateral decisions on land, very often without prior knowledge of other members of the groups. In addition, the following constraints or challenges have to be addressed; rapid population growth; poor land use practices, lack of effective representation of vulnerable groups in land administration and use matters, lack of awareness about the land policy and its implications on people’s livelihoods, poor formal land markets, and poor coordination among the existing network of field staff, NGOs, faith organizations, community based organizations etc on land matters.


The long-term goal is to ensure tenure security and equitable access to land for the attainment of broad-based social and economic development through optimum and ecologically balanced use of land and land- based resources.

Expected Medium term Outcomes

The medium term expected outcome is the efficient use of land and land based resources and equitable access to land by all productive Malawians and other investors.

Key Strategies
  • promoting and facilitating opportunities for lowering land transaction costs and enhance the operation of effective land markets,

  • supporting the privatisation of some land services in an effort to encourage the development of private sector participation in land sector activities;

  • promoting community participation and public awareness at all levels,

  • ensuring the adoption of environmentally sustainable land use practices, legislating land with provisions that enshrine tenure security not only to enhance tenure security, but also build confidence and encourage investment on land.

  • Legislation of land that discourages discrimination on grounds of status, gender or vulnerability;

  • Implementing transparent and accountable land allocation systems; and

  • Increasing tax on land to realistic levels that will discourage underutilization and speculation.


Achievement of sustainable economic growth and development by itself may not automatically translate into improved quality of life for the most vulnerable Malawians. It is therefore necessary to design programmes that will protect them as they may not be able to take advantage of the benefits from economic growth. It is also necessary to protect those that are not chronically vulnerable, but fall into vulnerability due to economic shocks from time to time. The recent poverty and vulnerability study noted that 95.0 percent of households surveyed reported at least one economic shock in the past five years, with most households experiencing more than one type of shock. Coupled with the findings that there was a 30 percent fluctuation in poverty between 1998 and 2005, the need to have programs that keep the non-poor from falling into poverty is essential.12 Recent analysis suggests that small increases in expenditure growth can move people out of poverty, while economic shocks can quickly push people into poverty. Thus, social protection strategies should include measures to decrease the risk of shocks and strengthen resilience to shocks (such as those identified in food security and economic empowerment). Social protection programs will therefore be designed to protect the most vulnerable.13.

There is also need for measures to protect the most vulnerable groups like the elderly, the chronically sick, orphans and other vulnerable children, malnourished children, lactating mothers and destitute families. Special groups of persons with disabilities14 are also included in this category. These groups of people are vulnerable to risk and typically lack appropriate risk management instruments, which constrains them from engaging in higher return activities to enable them move out of chronic poverty. Populations affected by disasters also qualify for social protection since disasters affect the livelihoods and social economic asserts of affected groups. Social protection and disaster management are therefore necessary as they restore peoples’ capacity to attain prosperity, create wealth and contribute to economic growth and development.

Table 5.2:

Summary of Theme 2; Social Protection and Disaster Management

article image

Social protection is particularly important because it ensures that the vulnerable, who may be on the peripheral of economic activity and thereby not benefit from growth, are well protected. Three main areas of focus have been outlined. First is the sub theme on empowering farmers and rural communities by improving their integration into the economic market, increasing their productivity and contribution to economic growth. Secondly, the focus has been on the most vulnerable who may not be able to enjoy the benefits of growth and therefore there will be need to have plans in place for their protection. Lastly, focus has been on disaster management especially the scaling up of efforts to strengthen capacity for response. More importantly, there will be need to ensure that social protection programmes are formulated as a spring board for the poor and they should provide them with the capacity to come out of vulnerability and engage in productive work.

5.2.1 Sub Theme One: Protecting the Vulnerable

Vulnerability can be defined as the likelihood of being harmed by unforeseen events, or susceptibility to exogenous shocks. The most vulnerable broadly include individuals or households affected by disasters; households headed by orphaned children, the elderly and single-parents (especially female heads); persons with disabilities; under-five children, lactating and pregnant mothers; orphans, and the unemployed and underemployed, and the land-constrained in rural areas. It is noted, however, that this general categorisation does not mean that all people or households falling under these categories are the most vulnerable. The determining factor is their inability to meet their basic needs and on the basis of poverty characteristics.

Currently, efforts to protect the most vulnerable have faced many problems. Most of the past market-based policies and interventions have been inefficient, fiscally unsustainable and mostly benefiting the non-poor than the poor. Consequently, all the market-based policies of social protection were abolished under the economic reforms. The administered programs are fragmented, uncoordinated and are poorly targeted. On the other hand, direct assistance and social welfare transfers are small in size and limited in coverage, largely due to financial constraints. The informal social protection, likewise, has become over-stretched and vulnerable to shocks due to increased poverty and the HIV and AIDS scourge.

Several key challenges and constraints have made it difficult to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable. These include clear lack of focus in implementing cost-effective interventions especially the area of preventing and reducing the high prevalence of stunting and wasting in children less than two years of age. Inadequate planning and lack of integration regarding data on the country’s development and growth strategies on the one hand and the risks and obstacles to these strategies on the other hand, posed by structural weaknesses and fluctuating resource needs for the chronically poor. Poor targeting has also been a constraint mainly due to insufficient data regarding the characteristics, location, challenges and needs of the vulnerable. Other constraints include inadequate knowledge regarding processes, transfer mechanisms, power dynamics, and incentive structures of target communities; poor donor and stakeholder coordination in the design and delivery of programs, and this also touches on lack of coordination of social protection programs in general.


The long-term goal is to improve the life of the most vulnerable.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The expected medium-term outcome is to increase assets of the poor to enable them to meaningfully engage in sustainable growth and contribute to poverty reduction.

Key Strategies

In order to realize the goals and expected outcomes as outlined above, there is need to undertake the following strategies which complement efforts for economic empowerment and social development:-

  • Providing efficient and effective support to the most vulnerable with very limited factors of production.

  • Improving planning and integration of knowledge on the needs of the chronically poor.

  • Providing opportunities for the poor farmers and rural communities to graduate from poverty by facilitating their integration in mainstream agricultural productivity and enabling them to create wealth. Specifically, there shall be a provision of subsidized agricultural inputs to poor farm families; undertake public works programme (PWP).

  • Promoting savings culture in PWPs, and

  • Providing capital for income generating activities through programmes such as MARDEF

5.2.2: Sub Theme Two: Improving Disaster Risk Management

Malawi is frequently affected by natural disasters and calamities. Apart from disasters that hit traditional disaster-prone areas like the Shire Valley, acute food shortage is the worst form of humanitarian crisis in Malawi. Lakeshore areas are also prone to severe flooding during years of heavy rains. Hailstorms also destroy crops, livestock, and other infrastructure thereby reducing productivity and removing the sources of livelihoods. It is therefore important to harness wealth creation and poverty reduction by putting in place adequate disaster risk management measures that go beyond emergency response to preparedness, prevention and mitigation as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction. Nevertheless, disaster risk management efforts face a number of challenges and constraints among which are inadequate funding, poor response to disasters and lack of an effective early warning system.


The long-term goal is the reduction in the socio-economic impact of disasters as well as building a strong disaster management mechanism.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The expected medium-term outcome is reduced impact of disasters by improved disaster risk management.

Key Strategies
  • Developing and strengthening institutions responsible for disaster risk management,

  • Instituting necessary disaster risk management mechanisms

  • Implementing mitigation measures in disaster prone areas;

  • Integrating disaster risk management into sustainable development planning at all levels;

  • Developing and strengthen coordination of institutions in disaster management and relief services;

  • Establishing an early warning system for Malawi; and

  • Timely provision of emergency relief assistance to affected populations while measures shall be instituted aimed at improving mitigation and rehabilitation of areas affected by disasters.


A healthy and educated population is necessary to achieve sustainable economic growth. By building a healthy and educated population as well as achieving economic growth, Malawi seeks to achieve and sustain Millennium Development Goals. Major economic sectors of agriculture and industry require an educated, skilled and healthy workforce to take on new challenges and achieve the goals of the sectors. The Strategy recognizes the interrelated nature of issues of education, health, population, HIV and AIDS, nutrition and gender. These issues therefore have to be dealt with in a balanced manner, without neglecting any one of them if Malawi is to achieve economic growth and development as well as achieve the MDGs. It is in this context that this Strategy proposes to address these issues in a coherent manner under one theme of social development. However, considering the impact that HIV and AIDS and malnutrition have on the economy, Government has placed these as key priorities for the short to medium-term. As such these issues have been taken from this theme and are discussed under key priorities in Chapter 4. The overall goal of this theme is to develop human capital for full participation in the socio-economic and political development of the country.

Table 5.3:

Summary of Theme 3; Social Development

article image

5.3.1 Sub Theme One: Health and Population

(A) Health

A healthy population is not only essential but also a pre-requisite for economic growth and development. There is a very close and strong correlation between health status and level of development. That is, countries with good health are highly developed, whereas those with poor health are underdeveloped.

Malawi’s health situation based on the health indicators such as maternal mortality rate, child mortality rate, child and maternal malnutrition, life expectancy, access to health facilities is very unsatisfactory. While some achievements have been made after implementing a number of policies, some of the health indicators are the worst in the world. For instance, for every 100,000 live births, 1,120 mothers die due to limited access to quality reproductive and health services, infant mortality and child mortality are estimated at 76 and 133, respectively per 1000 live births due to limited access to health services and malnutrition. Though Government is making efforts to bring about improved health, it faces a number of challenges. These include inadequate health personnel, prevalence of diseases such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and acute respiratory infections, and migration of health personnel to other countries. Recent assessments have shown that there are more than 100,000 people per qualified physician. There is inadequate supply of essential drugs due to budgetary constraints, which is compounded by pilferage. In general, the health infrastructures or facilities are very poor.

HIV and AIDS is a big challenge in attaining a healthy nation and this seriously affects development efforts in all sectors. The high prevalence of HIV and AIDS has seriously affected the health services delivery systems, subsequently the health status of the country’s population. Detailed situation analysis on HIV and AIDS and measures currently in place to contain the scourge and challenges being faced are presented in the subsequent section on HIV and AIDS.


The long-term goal is to improve health of the population at all levels in a sustainable manner.

Medium-term Expected Outcome

The expected medium term outcomes are, among others, improved provision of essential health care services; reduced infant mortality rate from 76 to 60 per 1,000 live births; reduced child mortality rate from 133 to 90 per 1,000 live births; and reduced maternal mortality rate by 50 percent from the current level of 984 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Key Strategies

Successful achievement of the intended goals and expected outcomes will, to a greater extent, rely on what happens in other sectors like production of food in agriculture, disease treatment and prevention in the health sector, relevant curriculum in the education sector and reduction of gender inequality. The targeted programs under the health sector support program will be complemented by educational efforts to improve nutrition, food production, and general improvements in infrastructure in rural areas. The Government will work with partners in the donor community, NGOs, and at the village level to leverage the resources devoted to the improvement in health related goals. Improving health requires a multifaceted or integrated approach with a combination of preventive, educational and clinical measures. By bringing these together, the costs of interventions can be minimized and their effectiveness maximized. The MGDS seeks such integration. Main strategies include the following:

  • Increasing the retention of qualified health workers through a targeted program for health care workers;

  • Improving working environment for health personnel;

  • Increasing the availability and eliminating theft of drug supply;

  • Improving health facilities through targeted facilities infrastructure (roads, water, health buildings, water, communication and medical equipment);

  • Improving equipment at health care facilities, especially maternity services;

  • Improving financial management, monitoring and supervision of health care facilities; and

  • Providing comprehensive health services package that include treatment of diseases and infections, awareness programmes and education through Government and private hospitals.

(B) Population

The MGDS recognises that there is a strong linkage between issues of population and health as such efforts from these two fronts compliment each other. However, there are other elements of population that cannot be conclusively addressed by efforts in the health sector alone because of its broad nature. These include population data analysis and dissemination for development planning. This is particularly important for the determination of total demand for goods and services in the economy.


The long-term goal is to increase the number of people with good living standards.

Medium Term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcomes include: increased life expectancy from 37 years to 45 years; reduced population growth rate from 2.0 percent to 1.5 percent per annum; reduced total fertility rate from 6.0 to 4.9; and increased contraceptive prevalence rate from 33.0 percent to 40.6 percent.

Key Strategies
  • Lowering fertility in all reproductive age groups through advocacy programmes;

  • Expanding the range and improving access and quality of health services focused on common health problems to reduce morbidity and mortality;

  • Providing accessible, affordable and comprehensive reproductive health services through informed choices in order to enable them to attain their reproductive health rights and goals;

  • Improving the quality of life of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS;

  • Enhancing programmes which increase awareness of the population, reproductive health and HIV and AIDS challenges; and

  • Improving methods of collection, analysis and dissemination of demographic and socio-economic data, disaggregated by age, sex, districts, and Traditional Authority through capacity building.

5.3.2 Sub Theme Two: Education

Education is the key for attaining prosperity. It is a catalyst for socio-economic development, industrial growth and an instrument for empowering the poor, the weak and the voiceless. Education enhances group solidarity, national consciousness and tolerance of diversity.

Government is implementing a number of reforms in order to improve the current situation especially to increase access and retention at all levels; improve the quality and the relevance of education being provided; improve equity, management and supervision; and the training of more teachers for both primary and secondary levels. This will be achieved through construction of additional classrooms, provision of relevant school supplies, training of more teachers and upgrading the existing under qualified ones. Curriculum reviews and reforms are in progress to improve the relevance of education so that the system can produce both white-collar job seekers and blue-collar job providers and the self-employed. Effective policies and systems are being established to enhance equity in education and effective management of the education sector.

Improvement and relevance of the education system in Malawi continues to face a number of challenges due to poor policy decisions made over the past few years. These have negatively affected the quality and relevance of education being provided especially at primary and secondary levels. Such policies included the sudden declaration of the Free Primary Education Policy, the conversion of the former Distance Education Centres (DECs) to Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) and the use of untrained and under qualified teachers in the system due to inadequate number of professionally qualified teachers.

The relevance of education has also been negatively affected by lack of timely reviews and reforms of the school curricula, consistent with the current national needs and aspirations, and also through the unwarranted addition of irrelevant subjects to the old curricula and the removal of relevant subjects such as technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education subjects. Other factors compromising education quality and relevance include: backward cultural altitudes of education for girls, inadequate infrastructure including for people with special needs, internal inefficiencies such as high absenteeism, high repetition and dropout rates, and also lack of school inspection or ineffective supervision and monitoring. These have rendered the system to be inefficient. The completion rates, pass rates and transitional rates from one class to the next and from one level to the next are very low.


The education sector has identified three priority goals. These are to equip students, especially at the basic education level with basic knowledge and skills to enable them function as competent and productive citizens; at secondary level, to provide the academic basis for gainful employment in the informal, private and public sectors; and at tertiary level, to produce high quality professionals with relevant knowledge and skills in relevant fields.

Medium-term Expected Outcomes

At pre-school level, the expected medium term outcome is to have an expanded infrastructure and increased access.

At primary school level the expected medium term outcome is to substantially reduce absenteeism, repetition and dropout rates.

At secondary and tertiary levels the expected medium term outcome is increased access and improved quality and relevant education for both sexes and students with special needs.

Key Strategies
  • Rehabilitating existing schools and building additional school infrastructure including teachers houses at all levels;

  • Training more teachers;

  • Improving the teaching-learning environment to reduce absenteeism, repetition and dropout rates for both sexes;

  • Reviewing and reforming school curricula to address national needs;

  • Implementing affirmative policies relating to selection of pupils and students to secondary and tertiary levels;

  • Providing a conducive environment for girls and students with special education needs to enhance equity; and

  • Equiping managers with managerial skills through targeted training and induction.

5.3.3 Sub Theme Three: Gender

Gender issues are an integral part of the overall national development agenda. Gender inequalities in accessing productive resources, development opportunities and decision making affect economic growth and development. The Gender Development Index for Malawi of 0.374 indicates that large disparities between men and women exist. Women who constitute about 51 percent of the population are marginalized in social and economic spheres such that they are unable to effectively contribute to social, economic and political development of Malawi. Education is a key factor for women empowerment. However women tend to have lower education levels than men leading to their lower participation in many areas of development. The main challenges are social/cultural factors, limited access to means of production, and limited participation in social and economic activities. The abuse of human rights or gender-based violence is tilted towards women and children and has accelerated other factors in their disfavour such as spread of HIV and AIDS.. In addition, the coordination and implementation of gender related policies is weak in Malawi.


The long-term goal is to mainstream gender in the national development process to enhance equal participation of both sexes for sustainable development.

Medium-term Expected Outcome

The expected medium term outcome is reduced gender inequality.

Key Strategies

Gender is not a stand-alone subject, as such achievement of Government’s goals and outcomes will very much depend on mainstreaming gender issues in all the other sectors. Main strategies include;

  • Strengthening the institutional capacity for effective co-ordination of gender policy implementation;

  • Taking affirmative action to increase women and children decision makers in high levels of the public and private sectors;

  • Promoting gender equality through advocacy; and

  • Breaking the cultural/traditional factors which create and perpetuate gender inequalities.


Infrastructure is one of the prerequisite for economic growth. It is a key component for creating an enabling environment for private sector driven growth and provision of timely and quality social services. Provision of infrastructure in the areas of transport (road, rail, air and water), water supply and sanitation, electricity, telecommunications, and information technologies contribute to enhanced productivity of business establishments in the country. Infrastructure services are complementary in nature and must be provided as a package for maximum benefits of development endeavours set in this Strategy.

In general, infrastructure in Malawi is grossly inadequate, characterized by low availability, unreliability and expensive. Overall, the infrastructure limitations in Malawi can be attributed to weak transport infrastructure (network and condition); high cost of transportation resulting in high cost of goods and services; unreliable and expensive utilities (water, electricity, and telecommunication); weak capacity of information technology in both private and public sectors. This is compounded by Malawi’s landlocked status, which is a major disadvantage to businesses as it increases the costs to importers and exporters relative to regional competitors. If the country is to register positive economic growth these limitations need to be addressed.

Development of infrastructure will contribute to the achievement of a number of the expected outcomes of the MGDS. Specifically, a well developed infrastructure will contribute to reduced cost of doing business in Malawi as it will improve its attractiveness as an investment destination; increased access to markets, clinics, schools, especially in rural areas and reduced incidence of water-borne diseases and environmental impacts from poor water usage and poor sanitation. However, the provision of infrastructure is not an end in itself but provides an enabling environment for the economic and social activities. In line with the goals of the MGDS, infrastructure development would focus on provision of infrastructure services as a package, which will promote activities in the various sectors of the economy.

This theme is made up of five sub themes namely transport; energy; water and sanitation; information, communication technology; and science, technology and research. Government has singled out transport infrastructure particularly roads and marine with respect to the Shire Zambezi Waterway as some of the key priority areas for the MGDS. Similarly, energy, water and sanitation have also been singled out as key priority areas. It is envisaged that the development of these selected infrastructure development initiatives will contribute to the realization of the immediate economic benefits for Malawi. Hence these issues have been taken from this theme and are discussed in Chapter 4 within the context of Government’s key priority areas for the short to medium-term. The remaining other focus areas are outlined below.

Table 5.4:

Summary of Theme 4; Infrastructure Development

article image

5.4.1 Sub-Theme One: Air and Rail Transportation

This sub theme focuses on air and rail transportation since road and water transportation have been particularly singled out as some of the key priority areas where Government will concentrate its efforts in the medium-term. These have been discussed under chapter 4 of this document. Air Transport

Air transport is the most efficient and effective means of transportation. However, Malawi faces a number of constraints such as airfreight costs which are higher than neighbouring countries, and landing rights restrictions and fees are prohibitive hence uncompetitive. Facilities at major airports are either below international standards or not available. While Malawi is striving to become a productive exporting economy there are no proper storage facilities at the international airport. In light of this problem, the focus in the medium term will be to ensure that the international airports conform to international standards through the provision of the relevant services and facilities.


The long-term goal is to reduce the cost of air transportation while ensuring international competitiveness.

Expected Medium Term Outcome

In the medium term it is expected that Malawi will attain and maintain a competitive, self-sufficient and sustainable civil aviation environment that ensures safety in accordance with national and international standards and enables the provision of services in a reliable and efficient manner.

Key Strategies

The objective of an affordable air transport is to attract tourists and export of agro-processed products. This will call for availability of supportive accommodation facilities at the airports, availability of appropriate storage facilities and provision of appropriate information facilitates and packages to visitors. Strong public-private partnerships will be promoted to facilitate private investment. Main strategies include:

  • Promoting and facilitating a competitive, sustainable and efficient air transport industry; and

  • Providing a safe, efficient, reliable aviation infrastructure that complies with international standards. Rail Transport

The long-term goal is to have an efficient, affordable and effective rail network that eases pressure from the road network and provides an alternative means of transport both to people and goods.

Expected Medium Term Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that the rail sub-sector will be a well-managed, viable and sustainable system that promotes accessibility as well as affordable and reliable movement of goods and people.

Key Strategies

The development of the rail network will have to be linked to target areas such as ports, industrial sites and national borders. Main strategies include:

  • Improving operational efficiency and commercial viability of the existing railway infrastructure and levels of service to all users including people with disabilities at an affordable cost; and

  • Promoting railway safety and environmental protection.

5.4.2 Sub-Theme Two: Information, Communication and Technologies

(a) Telecommunications

The telecommunication sector plays an important role in economic growth and poverty reduction. Effective information dissemination and communication systems is critical for private sector development and service delivery. It benefits companies and the general public providing direct and fast access to information. MGDS recognises the importance of the telecommunication and information sub-sector in the creation of an enabling environment for private sector led growth as well as improving the quality of life. Currently telecommunications services are below regional standards. Statistics show that only about 4.0 percent of the total population is connected to ground telephone lines in the country. Mobile phone networks have of late improved the situation.


The long-term goal is to ensure universal access to, connectivity and affordable information and communications technology.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium-term it is expected that Malawi shall have increased access to telecommunications services.

Key Strategies

The implementation of an effective and efficient telecommunications strategy for Malawi will need to be in line with regional and international standards taking into account the issues of globalisation. Main strategies will include:

  • Creating a conducive environment to attract investment in telecommunications;

  • Enhancing the capacity of the regulatory body Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to act as a competent referee in order to level the playing field; and

  • Developing monitoring and periodically reviewing regulations.

(b) Information Technology (IT)

The use of modern techniques of information technology (IT) is important and necessary for the acceleration of economic growth and development. The dynamics and demands of the modern world call for active adoption and use of modern IT. Malawi has made strides in the investment and use of IT. Nevertheless, there are a number of constraints and challenges that need to be addressed to effectively improve service delivery. These include high costs of IT equipment, inadequate trained IT personnel, and poor IT support infrastructure.


The long-term goal is to improve service delivery in both public and private sector institutions through the use of IT.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

The medium term expected outcome is a well developed IT infrastructure and improved e-governance. In addition, there will be increased IT skills in both public and private sector institutions, and increased tele-density.

Key Strategies

The implementation of an efficient IT strategy should take into account emerging needs of the industry at large in, particular, the high growth sectors such as tourism and manufacturing. Main strategies include:

  • Developing a reliable, fast, adaptive and robust national IT infrastructure;

  • Enacting an appropriate legislation that promotes and facilitates the country’s participation in the information age;

  • Facilitating the establishment of an efficient intra and inter-departmental, inter-sectoral, national and sub-national system of communication, for the necessary feedback in policy formulation, programme implementation, monitoring and review;

  • Intensifying IT education and training in all sectors; and

  • Improving IT access by all communities.

(c) Broadcasting

Information dissemination through radio and television (TV) continues to be the main form of communication in Malawi. Development of these modes of communication will remain vital in the medium-term to ensure that the population both in urban and rural areas is actively involved in the development process. Currently, radio communication is on the increase due to active participation of private radio stations. Television communication is still in its infancy but rapidly growing owing to its high message retention rate estimated at 93.0 percent. TV communication has proved to be the best mode of disseminating information on various topical issues such as education, democracy, good governance, human rights, and health. As such it is an important tool that will contribute significantly to economic growth and development for Malawi.


The long-term goal is to improve the dissemination of accurate, unbiased and timely information to the general public for informed decision-making.

Medium-term expected outcomes

In the medium-term it is expected that the country shall have a developed broadcasting infrastructure using modern telecommunication technologies.

Key Strategies
  • Developing and rehabilitating broadcasting transmitting stations;

  • Improving broadcasting distribution and coverage;

  • Developing local capacity to generate reliable and accurate news and programmes;

  • Improving quality and unbiasedness of local-content programme production;

  • Promoting the participation of private broadcasting stations; and

  • Promoting community broadcasting services.

5.4.3 Sub Theme Three: Research, Science, and Technology Development

Government recognizes the importance of research, science and technology in national socio-economic development. In this context, it has established national institutional structures that support the development of science and technology such as the National Research Council (NRC), Malawi Industrial Research and Technology Development Centre (MIRTDC) and a fully-fledged Department responsible for science and technology. Technology is generated through continuous research and development hence it calls for investment in research, technology development and transfer. However, despite these efforts, Malawi is extremely weak not only in scientific and technological development but also in its utilization. This weakness affects many aspects of the socio-economic development. Integration of science and technology in the national development planning process continues to face a number of constraints. Some of these key constraints are; poor coordination of research, science and technology generation, weak institutional capacity, and inadequate funding to the relevant institutions.


The long-term goal is to enhance development through the application of science and technology.

Expected medium term outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that the following outcomes will be attained:

  • Well coordinated science and technology generation and dissemination;

  • Effective and efficient operation of the science and technology institutions;

  • Increased uptake on productivity and enhancement of technologies; and

  • Prioritised and focused research and development.

Key Strategies
  • Establishing a National Science and Technology Commission as the apex body to coordinate all activities relating to research, science and technology;

  • Strengthening the capacity of research, science and technology institutions;

  • Generating and disseminating appropriate technology through public-private partnerships;

  • Developing and commercialising science and technology in areas identified to contribute significantly to socio-economic development;

  • Promoting the development and utilization of indigenous technology through the re-introduction of the “Malawi Award for Scientific and Technological Achievement (MASTA) and the Most Innovative Technology Stand (MITS)” at the Malawi International Trade Fair;

  • Establishing research funding mechanisms to promote research by individuals and institutions, including formulation of legislation for private sector investment in local research, science and technology development; and

  • Designing syllabi that achieve a balance of science and technology, arts and humanities in basic, secondary, higher and technical education levels.



Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2007, 055; 10.5089/9781451828153.002.A001


The success of the strategies suggested in the first four themes depends much to the prevalence of good governance. The main tenets of good governance are issues to deal with good public sector management, absence of corruption and fraud, decentralization, justice and rule of law, security, good corporate governance, and respect of human rights. In addition, the need for political will and change of mindset within a democratic political environment is also envisaged to contribute positively towards the attainment of economic prosperity and poverty reduction. Malawi will, therefore, endeavour to address concerns in these areas as they underpin the achievement of all economic growth and social development objectives in the medium term.

Table 5.5:

Summary of Theme 5; Improved Governance

article image

The need to address concerns in all these sub themes cannot be over emphasised, as it is evident that the achievement of the long-term national goals is dependent on good governance from all angles within the economy. As such, it is imperative that good governance creates a conducive environment for the implementation of both economic and social activities. However, the deliverance of good governance calls for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders because of the cross cutting nature of the issues at hand. Again, political will and change of mindset within a democratic political environment is also critical if anything is to be achieved. The country will, nevertheless, endeavour to address concerns in these areas through the various strategies put forward and thereby contribute towards the achievement of all economic growth and social development goals.

5.5.1 Sub Theme One: Macroeconomic Growth

Macroeconomic growth in a stable political and economic environment is a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth and wealth creation. In the past few years, the country experienced unstable macroeconomic environment mainly due to fiscal indiscipline. The macroeconomic fundamentals such as inflation, interest rates and exchange rates have not been suitable for economic growth and development. Interest rates still remain high to generate real investment. Inflation rates are high and fluctuating, while the Malawi Kwacha exchange rate against major currencies has been unstable and depreciating. Major challenges include the reduction of the unsustainable Government debt, privatisation of parastatals that continue to draw down on public resources, maintaining a sustainable fiscal deficit, unpredictable donor financing and external shocks such as increasing petroleum prices.


The long-term goal is the attainment of sustainable macroeconomic growth and development.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that Malawi shall achieve a favourable macroeconomic environment with low inflation (below 5.0 percent), lower interest rates, non-volatile exchange rates, reduced Government borrowing and sustainable debts.

Key Strategies
  • Improving public finance management by adhering to the budget and good financial management systems as prescribed in the relevant Acts;

  • Improving Government budget monitoring and evaluation;

  • Improving the predictability of donor financing and holding donors accountable to their commitments;

  • Improving the environment for private sector participation by reducing the crowding-out effects for private sector borrowing and the introduction of favourable tax reforms; and

  • Improving donor-aid coordination.

5.5.2 Sub Theme Two: Public Policy Formulation, Fiscal Management, Public Sector Management and Corruption

In Malawi, the public sector has been characterized by poor management that has generated inefficiencies in the delivery of public goods and services. Government and its development partners are already addressing these challenges in the sector such as wage policy reform, civil service structure reform, capacity constraints and corruption. Despite these efforts, poor civil service incentive structures, inadequate financial and material resources, poor implementation structures, inadequate capacity, political interference, transparency and accountability, fraud and corruption still remain major obstacles in the medium term. In light of this, the focus in the medium term will be on strengthening public policy formulation, fiscal management and eliminating corruption in addition to the on going reforms in the public sector. This will be premised on strong political will and management. Public Policy Formulation

Effective public policy formulation is important for proper decision-making. This requires involvement of all key stakeholders. It is also important that the general public has access to information to enhance effective participation in policy formulation.


The long-term goal is to promote free flow of information to allow the public to participate effectively in decision-making processes.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term it is expected that the public will be well informed to participate in national development activities.

Key Strategies
  • Improving public access to timely and accurate information by establishing community information centres;

  • Strengthening information collection, processing, storage, retrieval and publication infrastructure. This will require the procurement of equipment for public news agencies, establish record management systems in the public sector, and introduce wire news subscription to public institutions;

  • Enacting access to information legislation;

  • Engaging private sector and other key stakeholders in policy formulation and evaluation;

  • Engaging Parliament more in constructive discussion on the national development process as outlined in the Malawi constitution. Fiscal Management

Good fiscal management is important to ensure that public resources are allocated and spent on priority areas. This will be fundamental to achieve the targets and aspirations outlined in the MGDS. The central tool in fiscal management is the budgeting process, which since 1995 has been based on medium term expenditure framework (MTEF). The MTEF entails an output-focused approach based on costing of priority activities and projections of available resources. However, implementation of the MTEF has not been satisfactory. There have been huge variations in terms of planned (approved) expenditures and actual expenditures. Unbudgeted expenditures have exerted unnecessary pressures on the budget undermining the set priorities. Sector policies have remained unaffordable and resources have ended up being spread too thinly across so many activities thereby making little or no impact. This only shows lack of appreciation of resource constraints both at political and technical levels. It is imperative that the situation be corrected to achieve the long-term goal.


The long-term goal is to adhere to sound fiscal management practices by spending within the available financial resources.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that budget implementation will be improved.

Key Strategies
  • Ensuring that resources are spent on priority areas;

  • Eliminating extra budgetary expenditures;

  • Adhering to the Public Finance Management Act, Public Audit Act and Public Procurement Act;

  • Improving Integrated Financial and Management Information System (IFMIS); and

  • Linking the output-based budget to the Government accounting system. Corruption

Corruption retards economic growth and development by diverting resources from socio-economic development activities into coffers of a few. It discourages legitimate business investment, and reduces the public resources available for the delivery of public goods and services especially to the poor. Despite efforts to curb corruption, cases of corruption are still on the rise. The Anti-Corruption Bureau’s effectiveness is hampered by inadequate human and financial capacity in addition to the need for reviewing other related laws. One of the main challenges in the medium term is, therefore, to ensure that corruption and fraud prevention is improved while offenders face the law.


The long-term goal is to make Malawi a corruption-free country.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that corruption and fraud will be reduced. This will be achieved through improved transparency and accountability of goods and service delivery and zero tolerance to corrupt practices.

Key Strategies
  • Training specialised personnel in the field of corruption and fraud to improve human capacity in such institutions of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Auditor General and Accountant General;

  • Promoting the accountability of the ACB and the Auditor General to Parliament;

  • Reducing political interference in the public sector by redefining and separating roles between Cabinet Ministers and Principal Secretaries;

  • Promoting transparency and accountability in the procurement and delivery of goods and services by enforcing the relevant rules and regulations; and

  • Deepening the process of devolution of authority and resources to local Governments in order to improve transparency and accountability. Public Sector Management

Public sector management is important to ensure effective delivery of public goods and services. However, the public sector in Malawi is characterised by low motivation due to inadequate remuneration, lack of proper incentives, inadequate material resources, and political interference among others.


The long-term goal is that Malawi should have a highly motivated, results oriented and productive civil service.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium-term, it is expected that Malawi will have a highly motivated civil service leading to improved performance and services delivery.

Key Strategies
  • Building capacity through appropriate training in the public sector for effective service delivery;

  • Appointing and promoting staff based on merit and performance;

  • Continuing with wage policy reforms in order to raise incentives in the civil service;

  • Rationalising the civil service to ensure cost effectiveness of the delivery of public goods and services; and

  • Implementing non-salary incentives performance management systems.

5.5.3 Sub Theme Three: Decentralization

Malawi recognizes local Governments as key to national development and good governance. The objective is to devolve central Government powers, functions and resources to Malawians through their local authorities known as assemblies. This approach is enshrined in the Decentralisation Policy (1998) and is backed by the Local Government Act (1998). The implementation of the programme since 2001 has met a number of constraints, which have slowed down the progress. These include weak, poor and ineffective linkages between decentralization policy and other public policy reforms, persistent power struggle and conflicts of roles between elected members such as Members of Parliament, Councillors and Traditional Authorities; weak institutional capacity, high turn over of key staff like accountants, economists and other specialists, ineffective participation of the local communities due to lack of information, knowledge and skills, and inadequate financial resources among others. However, with the advent of popular democracy and the fact that over 80.0 percent of the population resides in rural areas, it is still necessary that empowerment of people through democracy for effective popular participation and decision making in the development process should continue.


The long-term goal is to enhance decision-making and participation of local communities in development planning and implementation.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that local assemblies will have full control of the process of development planning. It is also expected that there will be improvement in community participation, efficient accountability, good governance systems, vibrant monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems, clear and strengthened linkages of various policy reforms, and reduced conflicts of roles among various stakeholders at the district level.

Key Strategies
  • Implementing full and complete sector devolution;

  • Redefining roles of various local Government players to reduce operational conflicts and promote effective contribution to the development process;

  • Establishing a vibrant M&E system which will ensure transparency and accountability; and

  • Building capacity through training of various stakeholders to enhance their participation in development planning.

5.5.4 Sub Theme Four: Developing a Strong Justice System and Rule of Law

The creation of a strong legal system that safeguards the interest of the nation and promotes the rule of law is also a fundamental factor for achieving sustainable economic growth and development. This, among others, is envisaged to create an enabling legal and regulatory framework that provides incentives for economic activities. The dynamics of the modern world that brought about multi-party democracy, globalisation, regional integration, and human rights calls for a coordinated approach to delivering justice and respect for the rule of law. It is with this background that all stakeholder institutions in the sector have a role to play if Malawi is to attain its medium term goals.

There are a number of constraints that need to be addressed in order to develop and enforce the rule of law in Malawi. These include shortage of legal experts to effectively and timely handle legal cases, lack of local capacity to train legal personnel, and high costs of legal services. In addition, high crime rates, lack of adequate access to justice, commitment to human rights and lack of respect of the rule of law are also critical issues that need to be tackled. However, there are also other cross-cutting constraints that affect delivery of justice and respect for rule of the law like institutional capacity, inadequate systems and procedures, HIV and AIDS pandemic, slow adoption of ICT and poor infrastructure.


The long-term goal is to increase access to justice and entrenched rule of law.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium-term, it is expected that Malawi shall have a more responsive and effective judicial authority with sustained administration of justice, increased public confidence in the judicial system and improved ability of the private sector to obtain equitable and fair settlement of disputes in reasonable time and cost.

Key Strategies
  • Improving the local institutional capacities for training legal personnel;

  • Providing more court centres; with the introduction of traditional courts with appropriate jurisdiction in order to reduce time and cost for handling legal cases;

  • Improving civil dispute settlement mechanism;

  • Aligning various relevant laws with the Malawi Constitution and international laws; and

  • Developing an informal legal system that is accessible, efficient, and equitable.

5.5.5 Sub Theme Five: Security

Security is important in the country to safeguard human resources, infrastructure, goods and services. This is critical for creating an enabling environment for economic and social activities. Major challenges include inadequate police officers, equipment, and infrastructure. These need to be addressed in the medium term if crime prevention, detection, and investigation are to contribute effectively towards a safe and secure Malawi.


The long-term goal is to make Malawi a safe, secure and crime free nation.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes in the medium term include: reduced crime levels; improved methods of promoting public order; and improved partnership and participation of members of the public on all issues of safety and security.

Key Strategies
  • Improving the responsiveness of police to communities security needs by reducing the police population ratio through recruitment and training of more officers;

  • Promoting effective prosecution and punishment;

  • Enhancing effective crime detection, investigation and prevention through the provision of adequate technical and financial support to the police;

  • Strengthening partnership for risk management between private sector and the police for protection of business property; and

  • Enhancing community integration and participation in crime prevention, and detection through civic education.

5.5.6 Sub Theme Six: Corporate Governance

Good corporate governance is an important factor within the creation of an enabling environment for rapid and sustainable private sector development. However, it is a relatively new phenomenon within the private sector context and as such, it requires support in order to ensure greater transparency and accountability of companies in the country. Strengthening good corporate governance will therefore be one of the key tools of addressing the problem of fraud and corruption within the private sector. In the past, the major problem has been lack of the code of good practices that would govern the operations of the private sector. This problem is now being addressed with the development of the code of best practices by the private sector. In addition, the Institute of Directors has been established so that it plays a leading role in championing corporate governance issues in the country. Efforts in the medium term will therefore emphasize on the implementation of the best practices with particular emphasis on transparency and accountability. This is expected to contribute towards reduction of fraud and corruption in the private sector.


The long-term goal is to institute good corporate governance practices in the private sector.

Medium term expected outcomes

In the medium-term, it is expected that there will be reduced corruption and fraud, and improved investor perceptions of Malawi as an attractive investment destination. This is expected to translate into increased levels of domestic and foreign direct investment.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting the adoption of good corporate governance code of best practices;

  • Popularising the role of the Institute of Directors to facilitate the adoption of good corporate governance code of best practices; and

  • Mobilizing the support of the private sector to facilitate the sustainable operations of the new institution.

5.5.7 Sub Theme Seven: Human Rights

The MGDS recognises the importance of human rights within the context of good governance and democracy. A rights based approach to development is the basis of equality and equity, both in the distribution of development gains and in the level of participation in the development process. Human rights are an integral part of the overall national development agenda. However, awareness of human rights is a concern among many people in Malawi. The key areas of concern in human rights awareness are the rights of vulnerable groups and how to exercise them, and roles of governance institutions in promotion and protection of human rights. Empowering the most vulnerable groups that form the larger part of the population can effectively contribute to social, economic and political development of the country. In this regard the MGDS will therefore also focus on public awareness of human rights and acknowledgement of human rights responsibilities.


The long-term goal is to increase awareness and upholding of human rights among all Malawians, particularly the most vulnerable through the promotion and protection of human rights.

Medium-term Expected Outcomes

In the medium-term, the expected outcome is enhanced awareness and practice of human rights and responsibilities among all Malawians, particularly the most vulnerable groups.

Key Strategies
  • Raising awareness among the most vulnerable groups about their rights and how to exercise them, and the roles of the human rights bodies in promoting and protecting people’s rights;

  • Effective prosecution of human rights violation;

  • Developing an appropriate legislation and administrative framework for the protection and promotion of human rights;

  • Instituting human rights regulations in workplaces;

  • Instituting effective monitoring and evaluation of human rights issues; and

  • Integrating human rights in school curricula.

5.5.8 Implementation

The successful implementation of various strategies suggested under this theme relies mainly on political will among other factors. Government and Parliament will have to demonstrate that policies and legislations being implemented take into account the nation’s priorities. In addition, support from civil societies, donors and the public will be key for the achievement of the long-term goals and medium-term expected outcomes through the strategies suggested in this document. The maintenance of macroeconomic growth will be achieved through pursuance of prudent macroeconomic policies, tight fiscal and monetary policies and adherence to targets as outlined in the MGDS. Implementation of the MGDS will be done in collaboration with donors and private sector to contribute effectively to the overall goal of maintaining a conducive macroeconomic environment.

Elimination of corruption and fraud practices within the Government and Private sector circles will largely depend on the effectiveness of the Anti Corruption Bureau. The relevant Acts will have to be revised to ensure the autonomous nature of the institution and reduce political interference. The implementation of public sector reforms will continue in the medium term. Also important is the regular review of the wage policy reform whose implementation will continue.

The private sector will play a leading role in entrenching of good corporate governance in Malawi. However, the civil society and public sector are the other stakeholders that will help facilitate successful outcomes of good corporate governance in the medium term. The implementation of the strategies under justice, rule of law and security will require a collaborated approach among the various stakeholders in the sector. These stakeholders include Government, Law Commission, Ombudsman, Anti Corruption Bureau, Civil Society, the public and donors. This is especially important because of the cross cutting nature of the issues that need to be addressed.


6.1 Implementation Modalities of the MGDS

The MGDS has been comprehensively developed such that it allows all stakeholders to participate in the development of the country. Its implementation will, therefore, involve all stakeholders, that is, the three arms of Government: the Executive, Parliament, Judiciary, civil society organizations, private sector and the general public. Government will take a leading role in the implementation process through its consolidated budget. It is expected that donors and co-operating partners will align their support and activities to the MGDS.

The relationship between the MGDS and the budget is central to the successful implementation of this strategic document. The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and the Ministry of Finance will ensure that all ministries and departments align their activities and prepare their budgets in accordance with the MGDS. Budget submissions that either include activities outside the MGDS or exclude activities inside it will be rejected. The MGDS was developed with active participation of line ministries, private sector, civil society and donors, hence it reflects the sector strategies and priorities to achieve the long-term vision of the country.

A summary operational table that is presented in Annex 1 has been developed to guide the implementation of the MGDS. This table represents strategies, actions and expected outcomes of the MGDS. As conditions change during implementation, progress made against the activities, outputs and medium term expected outcomes will be assessed to make necessary adjustments. Such assessment will be made based on information coming from sector ministries as well as other stakeholders.

To ensure that the MGDS is implemented in partnership, Government will facilitate thematic teams to review progress. These teams will be inter-ministerial and include members of civil society, private sector and donors. Some of these mechanisms are already established in some sectors such as Health. These approaches will serve as models on how to develop cross sector working groups for monitoring and adjusting implementation. The private sector will be included as an active partner in all of the working groups, and especially in building strong dialogue with Government on obstacles to private sector led growth.

A number of specific implementation issues have been mentioned under the five themes. The following have been identified as critical issues that must be pursued to achieve the set targets of the MGDS:

  • Political-will and change of mindset. Government and Parliament should play their constitutional roles in ensuring that the ultimate objective of MGDS is achieved there by taking the country towards achieving the long-term goals.

  • Government should improve donor coordination through the development and adherence to the Development Assistance Strategy (DAS).

  • Donors and co-operating partners should align their support and activities to the MGDS. Government will lead the dialogue with donors on this alignment and seek to ensure that aid flows are predictable. On its part, it will seek to ensure that resources are disbursed in a timely manner.

  • The MGDS highlights important issues such as social protection, economic empowerment and HIV and AIDS. These issues are cross cutting and would therefore require effective coordination to avoid duplications and overlaps. In this regard, the Government will create a National Economic Committee to oversee implementation of such cross cutting issues.

  • There is need to develop a strong and motivated civil service that will ensure that Government remains committed to its policies, targets and obligations.

  • There is need to put in place mechanisms and modalities for implementing activities that require heavy financial investments. These include development of public-private partnerships and build, operate and transfer.

6.2 Prioritization and Costing of MGDS activities

Prioritization of the MGDS activities was done in two main stages. Firstly, by the sector ministries, departments and other implementing stakeholders. At this stage activities were ranked into three priority categories. Category one comprised priority activities that should be implemented first. Category two comprised second priority activities while category three the last priority activities. At this stage, all activities were costed. These costs represent a realistic estimate of the total input cost required to implement that particular activity. Secondly, activities were prioritised based on key focus areas of the MGDS. This prioritisation isolated particular activities that would contribute to the attainment of immediate economic benefits that would translate into the well being of Malawians in the medium term. In addition, it also prioritised those activities that would accelerate the attainment of the MDGs.

Costing of MGDS activities was done in Malawi Kwacha at 2005/06 fiscal year prices. Some of the activities are currently already being implemented and will continue to be implemented as they are not only necessary, but that financial resources were already committed to them. Other activities are totally new and require identification of financial resources to implement them. The total cost of all activities in the MGDS over the five years period is estimated at K633.8 billion. Out of this, the total cost of the key priority areas activities is estimated at K133.7 billion. However, the costs of the Shire-Zambezi waterway project and the prevention and management of HIV and AIDS are quite substantial hence it is assumed that Government will contribute 10 percent to these particular interventions.

The overall prioritisation of the MGDS emphasizes Government’s commitments to achieving immediate economic benefits for the well being of Malawians. This is reflected by a substantial allocation of resources towards themes on infrastructure and sustainable economic growth. The combination of these two themes is estimated to get 63.9 percent of the MGDS resources over the five years period. This is followed by Social development that is estimated to get 25.0 percent of the resources. This emphasizes Malawi’s commitment to achieving the MDGs. Improving governance and social protection themes are estimated to get 5.8 percent and 5.4 percent of the resources over the five years period, respectively.

As regards prioritisation of the key priority areas, transport infrastructure development takes the largest share of resources estimated at 54.1 percent over the five years period. This is mainly a reflection of the high costs of such infrastructure coupled with the development of the Shire Zambezi waterway. This is followed by agriculture and food security at 12.2 percent. The combination of agriculture and food security, and irrigation and water development yields a total allocation of 21.0 percent thus emphasizing the need for increased agricultural output through irrigation development to make Malawi food self sufficient. The prevention and management of nutrition disorders, HIV and AIDS takes 11.2 percent of the resources. Integrated rural development and energy generation and supply are estimated to be allocated 10.1percent and 3.6 percent respectively.

6.3 Roles of key stakeholders in the implementation of the MGDS

Government: The main responsibility of Government shall be to provide public goods and services as well as regulatory framework. These include roads, railways, airports, education, health services, and social services among others. It shall also provide the necessary environment and incentives to promote private sector activities. Government shall safeguard the interests of all Malawians by correcting market failures through policy, legal and regulatory framework reviews.

Parliament: The role of Parliament shall be to enhance Parliamentary oversight, transparency and accountability in the implementation of the MGDS. This will be done through MPs involvement in the scrutinization, consideration and approval of Government budgets, reviewing and making laws. It shall ensure that the budget is being used to provide resources for the prioritised activities in the MGDS. In this regard, the interests and priorities of Malawians shall be protected.

Private Sector: The main role of the private sector is to invest in both economic and social sectors to generate economic growth and create wealth. In this context, the private sector shall be expected to take up opportunities outlined in the MGDS. The scope of the private sector will be widened to involve them in the provision of other public goods and services through public-private sector partnerships.

Civil Society: The role of the Civil Society in the implementation of the MGDS is two fold; first, to implement some specific activities particularly within the context of the Governance theme, and second, to provide oversight and accountability functions in order to safeguard the interests of Malawians.

Donors and Co-operating Partners: The main role of donors and co-operating partners shall be to assist across the board with financial and technical resources to implement the activities in the MGDS. In doing so, they will be expected to support and align their activities in line with the priorities of the MGDS.

6.4 Monitoring and Evaluation

The monitoring of MGDS will be in accordance with monitoring and evaluation master plan developed by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the National Statistical Office. The stakeholders will align indicators in accordance with the MGDS themes and sub themes. A set of impact level monitoring indicators has been developed and is presented in Annex 5. The summary operational matrix in Annex 1 provides a summary of objectives that can also be monitored by line ministries and will be used in the budget discussion processes and reviews of the MGDS to track progress toward the impact indicators during implementation.

The implementation framework for MGDS has taken into account all players who participate in the decision making for the development of the country.



Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2007, 055; 10.5089/9781451828153.002.A001

At the Cabinet level the MGDS will be chaired by the President. The Cabinet will review the annual progress in the implementation of the MGDS. It is expected that various ministers will brief the Cabinet based on reports on the actual outputs and outcomes of the implementation of the strategy. Meanwhile the Minister of Economic Planning and Development will have a detailed report on the progress of the implementation that will act as a back up to sectoral presentations.

Prior to the budget session of Parliament, all parliamentarians will comment on the progress of the implementation of the strategy. The Parliament will base their debates from the mid-year development reports as well as annual development reports produced by Ministry of Economic Planning and Development. The development report will articulate all issues outlined in the budget that are in line with the MGDS.

The Secretary for Economic Planning will present the progress report of the implementation to the entire meeting of the Principal Secretaries chaired by Chief Secretary. The Principal Secretaries as Controlling Officers are supposed to take necessary measures as regards to issues raised in the mid-year and annual development reports.

The technical committee will consist of development partners, senior civil servants, Civil Society and private sector. The technical committee will be chaired by Director of Monitoring and Evaluation. The Chairman will prepare documentation for the Principal Secretaries’ meetings. The Secretary for Economic Planning and Development is expected to give an overview of the status of the MGDS during the Principal Secretaries’ meetings.

The Monitoring and Evaluation of Ministry of Economic Planning and Development will be secretariat for the implementation of the MGDS. In order to improve the implementation process of the MGDS, the Government is in a process of developing vibrant monitoring and evaluation system. The Government is developing capacity building at district level to monitor all aspects of MGDS and public sector investment plan. The Government will continue to develop capacity at sector level to monitor specific issues of the sector. The Government will also strengthen monitoring and evaluation capacity at the District and Town Assembly levels and enforce regular maintenance of infrastructure.

The annual and mid-year developments reports will be the main product of the M and E of the MGDS. Some of the aspects of monitoring will be economic developments, infrastructure and all specific activities outlined in the MGDS. All monitoring of the MGDS will be coordinated by Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.

The monitoring reports will be circulated widely for information sharing as well as part of advocacy. Ministry of Information will disseminate some of the information using different methods.

6.5 Needs Assessment

Government recognize that the various public institutions have inadequate human and capital resource requirements necessary for the successful implementation of the MGDS activities. As such, Government plans to build this capacity in order to mitigate their impact on the outcomes of the MGDS. A Needs Assessment (NA) exercise for the MGDS was, therefore, undertaken to determine the human and capital resources required to successfully implement the MGDS activities. This was done in consultation with the sector ministries and departments as well as other key stakeholders. The summary of the Needs Assessment is presented in Annex 4A and 4B. It is evident that both human and capital requirements are enormous and cannot be addressed at once. Government is committed to addressing these requirements annually through its budget. Other stakeholders such as donors and co-operating partners are expected to complement Government efforts in this area.

The human and capital resource requirements have been derived using the Needs Assessment (NA) approach which is a goal-based planning tool developed with the objective of determining the resource requirements in terms of infrastructure, human and financial in order to realise successful implementation of any goal-based strategy. The resource requirements represent an ideal case scenario that would be pursued to achieve the set goals in the MGDS.

The human resource requirements take into consideration the existing; attrition; incremental number of staff to be recruited; and additional staff to be recruited. The number of existing staff is the stock in that year: the baseline is the actual number in place while the subsequent year is a sum of the previous year plus the attrition and the incremental staff to be recruited. Attrition is the number of human resources that are lost in the system either through death, dismissal, resignation and retirement. These losses need to be replaced. The incremental number of staff to be recruited is generated in the model based on coverage indicators. Now, the total number of staff to be recruited is a sum of the attrition and the incremental number of staff. This represents additional human resource requirement to the preceding year.

The NA approach is a medium-term to long-term and as such it has both strengths and weakness. The major strength of this tool is that it can form the basis of scenario based planning in terms of making the coverage indicators either more ambitious or less ambitious. On the other hand, the weakness of the NA approach is that it is difficult to estimate the future resource requirements with certainty; the unit costs and the exchange rate are bound to change. Secondly, the NA approach is unable to estimate human resource requirements by cadre.


Table 6.1A:

Prioritization and costing summary by key priority area

article image


  1. Govt will contribute 10% of the Shire-Zambezi waterway projet total cost..

  2. Govt will contribute 10% of HIV and AIDS resources prevention and management costs.

Table 6.1B:

Prioritization and costing summary by key priority area (%)

article image
Table 6.2A:

MGDS Overall Prioritization and Costing by themes

article image
Table 6.2B:

MGDS Overall Prioritization and Costing by themes (%)

article image



article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image