Malawi
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS-II) is a poverty reduction strategy for the period 2006–11, which is aimed at fulfilling Malawi’s future developmental aspiration—Vision 2020. The strategy identifies broad thematic areas and key priority areas to bring about sustained economic growth. A striking feature of this strategy is that the various governmental organizations, private sector, and general public are equal stakeholders. However, successful implementation of MGDS-II will largely depend on sound macroeconomic management and a stable political environment.

Abstract

The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS-II) is a poverty reduction strategy for the period 2006–11, which is aimed at fulfilling Malawi’s future developmental aspiration—Vision 2020. The strategy identifies broad thematic areas and key priority areas to bring about sustained economic growth. A striking feature of this strategy is that the various governmental organizations, private sector, and general public are equal stakeholders. However, successful implementation of MGDS-II will largely depend on sound macroeconomic management and a stable political environment.

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Overview

The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) is the overarching operational medium term strategy for Malawi for the next five years, 2011 to 2016. It is designed to attain the country’s Vision 2020. The underlying philosophy of MGDS II is to continue creating wealth through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development. It presents a policy framework that articulates issues related to both economic growth and social development. The MGDS II is meant to serve as a single reference document for policy makers in Government, the private sector, civil society, donors, the international community and co-operating partners on the country’s socio-economic development priorities.

The MGDS II is framed on six broad thematic areas namely; sustainable economic growth; social development; social support and disaster risk management; infrastructure development; governance; and gender and capacity development. The strategy recognizes that issues of gender and capacity development are cross cutting and therefore have been addressed under a separate theme. To ascertain immediate economic benefits for the people of Malawi, the MGDS II will in the next five years focus on the following nine key priority areas: Agriculture and Food Security; Transport Infrastructure and Nsanje World Inland Port; Energy, Industrial Development, Mining and Tourism; Education, Science and Technology; Public Health, Sanitation, Malaria and HIV and AIDS Management; Integrated Rural Development; Green Belt Irrigation, and Water Development; Child Development, Youth Development and Empowerment; and Climate Change, Natural Resources and Environmental Management. Figure 1 is a schematic view of the relationship between themes and KPAs.

Figure 1:
Figure 1:

Relationship between KPAs and Thematic Areas

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2012, 222; 10.5089/9781475506129.002.A001

1.2 Main Assumptions of MGDS II

The MGDS II is premised on the following assumptions:

  • The country sustains and accelerates real GDP growth rates to continue on its poverty reduction path;

  • Prudence in management of fiscal and monetary policies;

  • Continued political stability;

  • Conducive macroeconomic environment;

  • Increased diversification and value addition of export commodities to effectively drive export led growth;

  • Effective aid management and further improvement in domestic debt management;

  • Adequate resources and capacity to implement MGDS II activities;

  • Good governance is entrenched and institutionalised to avoid wastage of scarce resources;

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

  • Continued political will.

1.3 MGDS II Outline

The MGDS II is organized as follows: Chapter 1 is an introduction and presents an overview and main assumptions of the strategy. Chapter 2 presents the background and outlines past development policies; Chapter 3 summarizes the macroeconomic environment and expenditure framework within which the MGDS II will be implemented. Chapter 4 presents in detail the thematic areas of the MGDS II while Chapter 5 presents the key priority areas. Finally, Chapter 6 presents the implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework.

Chapter 2: Background

The MGDS II succeeds the MGDS (2006-2011) as an overarching operational medium term national development strategy, designed to attain the nation’s Vision 2020. It is a product of a highly consultative process involving a broad range of stakeholders. It therefore, represents a consensus on how Malawi can further accelerate the attainment of its development objectives. The MGDS II also incorporates lessons learnt from the implementation of the MGDS and simultaneously addresses the MDGs.

The successful implementation of this strategy, therefore, requires commitment of all stakeholders. Government will spearhead the implementation of the MGDS II. However, all stakeholders including the private sector, civil society organizations, donors, cooperating development partners, and the general public have varying responsibilities in the implementation process to ensure the attainment of the set goals.

2.1 Overview of Development Policies

Since the launch of the Malawi Vision 2020 on 31st March, 1998 Government has implemented two medium term national development strategies: Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy (MPRS) and MGDS. The MGDS II, therefore, becomes the third national development strategy. It translates the goals and objectives that emerged from a nation-wide consultation process as reflected in Vision 2020.

2.2 National Development Policies

2.2.1 Malawi Vision 2020

Vision 2020 is a policy framework that 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”.

2.2.2 Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy

In May 2002, Government launched the MPRS which presented a first attempt to translate long-term vision 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 good 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 three years ending in the 2004/05 fiscal year.

In the second half of 2005, the MPRS was reviewed to draw lessons from its implementation. The lessons are summarized in the report “Comprehensive Review of the MPRS 2005” and the 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 implemented 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 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), slow implementation of the devolution process, and funding not based on priorities defined by MPRS.

2.2.3 Malawi Growth and Development Strategy

Government launched the MGDS in 2007. It was designed as an overarching operational medium-term strategy for Malawi to attain the nation’s Vision 2020 and the MDGs for the period 2006 to 2011. The main aim of the MGDS was to create wealth through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development as a means of achieving poverty reduction. It presented a policy framework that balanced issues related to both economic growth and social development.

To ascertain immediate economic benefits for the people of Malawi, the MGDS focused on the following six key priority areas: 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 key priority areas were also expected to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs in the areas of health, education, gender, environment, and governance. They were isolated from the MGDS five thematic areas namely; sustainable economic growth; social protection and disaster risk management; social development; infrastructure development and improving governance. The MGDS recognized that issues of HIV and AIDS, science and technology, gender, empowerment and environment were cross cutting and as such they were streamlined within the five thematic areas.

Annual reviews were conducted throughout the period of MGDS to draw lessons from its implementation. These lessons, among other things, informed the strategic direction of the MGDS II.

2.2.4 International Development Commitments

The MGDS II recognizes Government’s commitment to several global agreements and declarations including the MDGs, and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Government through the MGDS II is committed to the MDGs as internationally agreed targets for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environment sustainability; and developing global partnership for development. The country has made progress on all its targets and is on track to attain five of the eight MDGs targets by the year 2015.

On eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, the poverty headcount has declined from 50 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2010 while the proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy requirement has decreased from about 22 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2009. Under universal primary education, there has been an increase in primary school net enrolment from 73 percent in 2006 to 83 percent in 2009 while youth literacy rate has increased from 74.9 percent in 2005 to about 84 percent in 2009. Progress has also been made on gender equality and empowerment of women. The ratio of girls to boys in primary school has increased from 0.95 in 2005 to 1.03 in 2009. The proportion of seats held by women in Parliament has significantly improved from 14 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2009 (Malawi MDG Report, 2010).

In addition, progress has also been made on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Infant mortality rate has declined from 76 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 66 per 1,000 live births in 2010, while under-five mortality rate has declined from 133 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 112 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010. Maternal mortality rate has declined from 984 births per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 675 births per 100,000 live births in 2010. The HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women aged 15 to 24 years has declined from about 14.3 percent in 2005 to 12 percent in 2009, while deaths associated with tuberculosis cases has declined from 19 percent in 2005 to 8 percent in 2009 (DHS Report, 2010).

Although progress has been made in all the goals, Malawi is still lagging behind in achieving targets in three goals, namely; improve maternal health, achieve universal primary education and promote gender equality and women empowerment. In this respect, efforts will be made to achieve all the MDG targets during the implementation of this strategy.

2.3 Situation Analysis

The economy of Malawi is dependent on agriculture. The sector remains the country’s main foreign exchange earner with tobacco, sugar, tea, coffee and cotton as major export products followed by manufacturing and tourism. The country’s dependence on this sector renders its economy vulnerable to shocks hence the need to diversify. In recent years, efforts have been made to diversify the economy to other sectors such as mining, tourism and service sectors. Consequently, the contribution of other sectors including mining to GDP has increased over the years with agriculture declining from about 38 percent in 1994 to about 27 percent in 2010.

Prior to MGDS implementation (2002 to 2005), GDP growth rate averaged 3.5 percent against the target of 5.2 percent. On the other hand, during the implementation period of the MGDS (2006 to 2011), the economy performed remarkably well, with an average real GDP growth rate of 7.5 per cent compared to a target of 6 percent. During the same period, inflation rate declined to single digit levels, and bank lending rate also declined.

Over the past years, there has been significant reduction in the number of people living in poverty from 52 percent in 2004 to 39 percent in 2010. In addition the country has seen significant improvement in infrastructure development in the transport, health and education sectors. Consequently, there has been an increase in the provision of and access to social services. The proportion of the population with access to safe potable water and basic sanitation increased from 73 percent and 84 percent in 2005 to 80 and 93 percent, respectively, in 2010. HIV prevalence declined from 14 percent in 2005 to 12 percent in 2010. In the health sector, birth attended by skilled personnel increased from 38 percent in 2005 to 58 percent in 2010 and maternal mortality and infant mortality declined from 984 per 100,000 live births and 76 per 1,000 births to 675 deaths and 72 deaths, respectively during the same period. Life expectancy also increased from 40 years in 2005 to 49 years in 2010 (DHS, 2010).

Although Malawi has improved the welfare of its citizens, the country still faces a number of challenges including: insufficient energy generation and supply; high transportation costs; inadequate skilled human resource; inadequate financial resources; narrow export base; inadequate diversification; high illiteracy levels; high population growth; over dependence on rain-fed agriculture and HIV and AIDS pandemic.

In addition, Malawi has challenges to meet some of the MDGs namely: improving maternal health, achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality and empowering women. The themes and key priority areas in this strategy, therefore, aim to address the above challenges while consolidating the achievements attained during the MGDS implementation.

2.4 Overview of MGDS Implementation

The MGDS has generally been effective as an instrument of achieving the country’s developmental goals. Having experienced stagnant and at times negative growth spanning over 15 years prior to the implementation of the MGDS, poverty had increased significantly; incomes dwindled; and the livelihoods of the majority of Malawians adversely impacted upon. The introduction of MGDS has reversed some of these challenges. Although still not sufficient, Malawi has begun to record positive economic growth as well as impressive results on many MDGs indicators.

2.4.1 Aid Effectiveness

At the start of the MGDS, Malawi received significant debt cancellations under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) in 2006 when the outstanding external debt stock was reduced from US$2.97 billion as of end 2005 to US$0.52 billion in August 2006. This debt relief led to increased fiscal space arising from the debt service savings, thus permitting increased Government spending on priority areas. The debt relief led to improved debt indicators thereby increasing the scope for the Government to acquire more external aid in the form of concessional loans.

Aid disbursement remained stable over the last three fiscal years of MGDS implementation, 2007/08 to 2009/10. Traditional donors continued to provide the majority of the aid support with EU contributing the largest disbursements in 2009/10 Fiscal Year (FY) followed by World Bank and DfID. Other key donors were USAID, Norway and AfDB. During the same period, new donors like the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of India began to play an increasingly important role. However, aid has been concentrated in a small number of sectors with Economic Governance being the largest recipient sector of overall donor support followed by Health; Agriculture; Education; and Water and Sanitation in that order in 2009/10 Fiscal Year. In contrast, the 5 smallest recipient sectors were Public Administration; Tourism, Wildlife and Culture; Energy and Mining; Gender, Youth Development and Sports; and Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development.

During the same period, aid predictability was high but undermined by a couple of key donors with aid disbursement modalities shifting from Pooled Sector Support to General Budget Support. Budget Support increased to 30 percent in 2009/10 FY from 21 percent in 2008/09 FY of total donor receipts by Government while Pooled Sector Support declined from 24 percent in 2008/09 FY to 17 percent in 2009/10 FY.

In this regard, Government will assume that external resources will be forthcoming to support the MGDS II activities following international commitments made by the G8 Nations at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005 as well as similar commitments by both bilateral and multilateral donors.

2.4.2 Macroeconomic Performance

MGDS projected a 6 percent annual GDP growth rate as the level at which meaningful poverty reduction would be achieved. The economy performed well as GDP growth rate averaged 7.5 percent at the end of the five year period. The above average growth rate emanated from good performance in strategic sectors such as agriculture, construction, mining and services. During MGDS implementation, domestic resource mobilisation increased as a share of GDP from 17.5 percent of GDP in 2006 to 22.6 percent of GDP in 2010 while expenditure averaged 35 percent of GDP. Expenditures throughout the period were within their MGDS target of 39 percent of GDP. Consequently, fiscal balances significantly improved to -2.9 percent of GDP.

Within the same period, monetary policy was geared towards achieving price stability whilst providing sufficient room for private sector activity. Reserve money continued to be the nominal anchor for prices and money supply and its growth was programmed to expand at about the pace of nominal GDP to contain inflationary pressures and manage domestic demand. Subsequently, inflation declined from 10.1 percent in December 2006 to 6.3 percent in December 2010.

2.4.3 Sector Performance

Agriculture: The country’s introduction of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) to smallholder farmers in the year 2005/06 has demonstrated the importance and value of investing in food crops as a step towards sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. The 2010 MDG Report attributed the country’s sharp decline in poverty levels between 2005 and 2010 to FISP. Welfare Monitoring Survey1 reports indicate that the number of Malawians at risk of hunger has been decreasing overtime due to FISP. In the period before 2005 about 5 million Malawians were at risk of hunger. This reduced to about 500,000 in year 2008. Furthermore, maize production increased from 1.22 million metric tons in 2005 to 3.4 million metric tons in 2010 (Economic Report, 2011).

Energy: During the implementation of MGDS, the sector registered a number of achievements including establishment of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) in 2007; rehabilitation of Tedzani I & II in which 40MW of installed capacity was restored. In addition, there has been an increase in the percentage of households with access to electricity from 4 in 2005 to 9 in 2010. This is partly due to successful implementation of rural electrification program which has increased the number of trading centres connected to electricity from 45 in 2005 to 182 in 2010. Furthermore, there has been a decline in the proportion of population using solid fuels from 94.8 percent in 2005 to 78 percent in 2010.

Education: Government implemented a number of programmes in the education sector leading to the following achievements: primary school net enrolment increased from 73 percent in 2006 to 83 percent in 2009. The proportion of pupils starting grade one who reach grade five increased from 69 percent in 2000 to 76 percent in 2008 (UNDP, 2010). Completion rate in primary school has improved from 26.8 percent in 2005 to 53 percent in 2008. Primary school dropout rate has declined from 22 percent in 2005 to 5 percent in 2008.

Health: The sector registered a number of achievements including reduction in infant mortality rate from 76 per 1,000 in 2004 to 66 per 1,000 in 2010; reduction in under-five mortality rate from 133 per 1,000 in 2004 to 112 per 1,000 in 2010; reduction in maternal mortality rate from 984 per 100,000 in 2004 to 675 per 100,000 in 2010; reduction in the prevalence of HIV among 15-24 year old pregnant women attending antenatal care from 14 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2009; reduction in malaria in-patient case fatality rate from 7 percent in 2004 to 3.2 percent in 2010 and increase in proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel from 38 percent in 2004 to 75 percent in 2009 (DHS, 2010).

Nutrition: A number of interventions were implemented to improve nutrition. The interventions include school health and nutrition programmes; vitamin A supplementations; and nutrition support programmes. These interventions have resulted in improvement of nutrition indicators. For instance, the percentage of underweight children decreased from 22 percent in 2004 to 13 percent in 2010 (DHS, 2010).

Mining: During the implementation of MGDS, contribution of mining to GDP rose from 3 percent in 2005 to 10.8 percent in 2010 partly attributed to the Kayelekera Uranium Mine (Annual Economic Report, 2010).

Transport: The transport sector carried out a number of interventions aimed at improving the quality of infrastructure. Some of the recent achievements include an increase in paved road network from 3,663 km in 2004 to 4,073 km in 2010; 215 km of the paved road network rehabilitated out of the 293 km during the same period (RA, 2011). The preparation of the Transport Sector Investment Plan (TSIP) will bring about coordinated and competitive development of all transport modes and enhancement of intermodal transport along the corridors. In addition, in the roads subsector Government has adopted the Road Sector Programme (RSP) to guide both the medium and long term investment programmes in the subsector.

Water Development: The sector made notable achievements and these include increased adoption of improved irrigation technologies, construction of dams, rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and promotion of Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH). The country’s proportion of the population with access to basic sanitation increased from 84 percent in 2005 to 93 percent in 2009. There was an increased percentage of the population with access to safe potable water from 73 percent in 2005 to 84 percent in 2009 (WMS, 2009).

Natural Resources and Environmental Management: The sector registered remarkable progress in a number of areas including compliance with the Environmental Management Plans (EMP) of development projects and programs; setting standards on pollution control and waste management; increased public awareness on environment and natural resources management; increased land area under industrial plantations; improved protection of river catchment areas, increased land area under industrial plantations from 1609 ha in 2005 to 5784 ha in 2010; reduced tonnage of ozone depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) from 5.9 tonnes in 2005 to almost zero in 2010; and increased customary land area planted with trees from 77,810 ha in 2005 with 194,524,672 trees to 187,791 ha with about 275 million trees planted in 2010 (Department of Forestry, 2010).

Tourism: To improve tourism, Government undertook a number of development projects that transformed the tourism landscape. These include construction of access roads to tourist sites in Mangochi; improvement of airports and airstrips and construction of Mpale Cultural Village. In addition, Government started constructing a 1500-seater International Conference Centre which is expected to boost the tourism potential of the country.

Private Sector Development, Industry and Trade: A number of reforms were undertaken including establishment of a commercial court and simplification of trade regime. These reforms coupled with macroeconomic and political stability led to attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). According to the Reserve Bank of Malawi, FDI in 2010 amounted to USD 9.2 million.

Science and Technology: During implementation of MGDS, Government carried out a number of reforms aimed at improving research and development and application of science and technology in the country. These reforms include establishment of the National Commission for Science and Technology as an apex body in all matters of research, science and technology; and review of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy; and development of the National Intellectual Property Policy.

Rural Development: On rural development, a number of interventions were made to assist rural communities. These include community development programmes; subsidized farm inputs; rural industrialization; public works programme; construction of school buildings, teacher’s houses and clinics; water supply schemes; and improvement of other rural social infrastructure.

Wildlife and Culture: The sector registered a number of achievements and these include improved quality and standards of tourism units; improved wildlife conservation; animal translocation and restocking; construction and rehabilitation of national monuments and other cultural infrastructure; and research on national heritage.

Land: Government implemented a number of initiatives including re-allocation of land to poor households largely through the Community Based Rural Land Development Project (CBRLDP) and introduction of land administration and management courses at tertiary level. The sector also embarked on design and implementation of a computerized title deed registration system.

Population: Under this sub-sector, there was an increased provision of sexual and reproductive health services which raised awareness and contributed to a high proportion of the population using contraceptives. During the same period there was an increase in primary school girls’ completion rate. These contributed to a reduction in the fertility rate from 6.0 in 2005 to 5.7 in 2010 (DHS, 2005; 2010).

Child Development and Protection: A number of initiatives were implemented to address some of the challenges faced by children. Achievements include increased number of early child development centres from 5,945 in 2005 to 8,933 in 2010; increased primary school net enrolment; increased number of girls accessing primary level education thereby helping to achieve gender parity; and decreased infant mortality and child mortality rates. In addition, regulatory and policy framework for the protection of children has been put in place.

Youth Development and Empowerment: Achievements under this sub-sector include; increased access to capital through the establishment of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund; expansion of the university student intake; construction of secondary school boarding facilities for girls; improving access to sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS services; and establishment of information centres.

Social Support and Disaster Risk Management: A number of initiatives were implemented aimed at fighting poverty. These resulted in the decline of poverty incidence from 52 percent in 2004 to 39 percent in 2009. This trend was accompanied by a reduction in ultra-poverty from 22 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2009. This achievement is largely attributed to agricultural farm inputs subsidy programme which on average benefited 1.3 million Malawians per year since 2005. In addition, Government implemented Targeted Support to School Meals; Public Works programme; Village Savings and Lending; and Microcredit programmes. Government also continued piloting the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme.

Information and Communication: A number of achievements were made including connection to the optic fibre cable resulting in improved delivery of telecommunication services; increased mobile phone coverage; increased provision of broadcasting services; increased postal and courier service and automation of some of Government’s operations and services.

Housing and Urban Development: Achievements registered under this sub-sector include the following: maintained houses under government lease, constructed Government Offices; conducted quinquennial valuations and supplementary valuation rolls; decentralized the Rural Housing Programme; commenced a National Slum Upgrading Programme; and developed Guidelines on Safer House Construction. In addition, Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) continued to construct houses.

Economic Governance: Malawi experienced a stable macroeconomic environment characterized by a high GDP growth rate, low inflation rate, a stable exchange rate, and sustainable levels of both domestic and foreign debt. The challenge is therefore to sustain and accelerate the positive economic growth and continue with a stable macroeconomic environment.

Democratic Governance: The country experienced positive developments including successful presidential and parliamentary elections; a motivated civil service; a growing number of civil society and non-governmental organizations; and deepening constitutionalism. On justice and the rule of law a number of legal and policy reforms were carried out. These included legal and policy reforms, and the strengthening of some of the key institutions of governance that led to increased access to legal system.

Gender: Achievements made under gender sector include increased proportion of women in the National Assembly from 14 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2009; increased number of women in decision making positions in public service; establishment of victim support units; and achievement of gender parity at primary school level.

Capacity Development: Initiatives implemented in the public sector have had a number of positive results. These include an increased number of trained personnel in key sectors including health and education, institutional development of ministries, departments and organizations; establishment of Leadership Development Framework and implementation of the Public Sector reform program.

HIV and AIDS Management: Prevalence of HIV and AIDS among pregnant women within the age group of 15 to 24 years has declined from 15 percent in 2005 to 12 percent in 2009. Factors contributing to this positive development include increased awareness programmes in HIV prevention and behavioural change, increased access to a number of preventive interventions, increased access to HIV and AIDS Testing and Counselling (HTC) sites, and the PMTCT programme.

Challenges

Despite the achievements outlined above, the country still faces a number of challenges which MGDS II endeavours to address. The specific challenges are covered in the relevant sections of the strategy.

2.5 Lessons Learnt from Implementation of MGDS

The following lessons from MGDS will strengthen the implementation of MGDS II:

  • Successful implementation of any national development strategy requires commitment from all stakeholders;

  • A strong indicator framework is critical for measuring progress towards defined goals, outcomes and targets;

  • Availability of data is crucial for monitoring progress of MGDS implementation;

  • Strengthened human and financial capacity is crucial for successful implementation of the MGDS;

  • Alignment of the national budget and sector strategies to the national development strategy; and

  • Alignment of donor support to the national development strategy.

2.6 The MGDS II Formulation Process

Stakeholders Consultations: Just like its predecessor, the MGDS II is a product of a highly consultative and participatory process that identified specific themes and confirmed strategies to be employed. It is also acknowledged that successful implementation of the MGDS II requires commitment from all stakeholders including the public and private sectors, civil society organizations (CSOs), development partners, the international community, donors and the general public.

To facilitate the formulation, Government established structures to guide and oversee the MGDS II formulation process. These structures include a ministerial committee to provide political guidance; a steering committee to provide policy guidance; and a core drafting team to provide technical expertise to the process. A number of consultative meetings and workshops were held with all stakeholders to seek their input in the strategy. The consultative meetings and workshops targeted all district councils, Government Ministries and Departments, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, development partners, the academia, the youth, children and chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of parliamentary committees, and all the sixteen Sector Working Groups (SWGs).

The MGDS II, therefore, represents the aspirations of all Malawians. However, it should be clear to all stakeholders that the real challenges lie in realizing MGDS II objectives and targets. Unless the strategies contained in this document are implemented, the country’s efforts in realizing its vision will have been wasted. Government is committed to ensuring the implementation of the MGDS II, using the Budget as the key tool and expects that all stakeholders will play their part in implementation as was the case at formulation stage.

Chapter 3 Macroeconomic Framework

3.1 Introduction

Malawi has since the year 2000 implemented two medium term national development strategies to address developmental challenges of the country. These strategies are the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy (MPRS) implemented from 2002 to 2005 and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) from 2006 to 2011. From 2011 to 2016, Malawi will be guided by the MGDS II. This chapter lays out the macroeconomic framework for the MGDS II. The projections are primarily based on output from macroeconomic model for Malawi2.

The overall goal of the MPRS was to achieve sustainable poverty reduction through empowerment of the poor. During the implementation of this strategy, GDP growth averaged 3.5 percent against the target of 5.2 percent. The main thrust of the MGDS was to reduce poverty through sustained economic growth and infrastructure development. During the implementation of this strategy, GDP growth averaged 7.5 percent against the target of 6 percent. This high growth rate emanated from agriculture, distribution, construction, mining and services sectors. Table 3.1 below compares the performance of the two strategies.

Table 3.1:

Real GDP Growth and Inflation

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During the MGDS implementation, fiscal balances averaged −2.9 percent of GDP due to improved fiscal management. Domestic resource mobilisation as a share of GDP increased from 17.5 percent in 2006 to 22.6 percent in 2010. Expenditures throughout the implementation period averaged 35 percent of GDP thus staying within the target of 39 percent of GDP. In addition, Government’s domestic debt dropped to 16 percent of GDP from 25 percent of GDP registered at the beginning of MGDS.

Over the same period, monetary policy was geared towards achieving price stability whilst providing sufficient room for private sector activity. Reserve money continued to be the nominal anchor for prices and money supply growth was programmed to expand at about the same pace of nominal GDP to contain inflationary pressures and manage domestic demand. Consequently, inflation eased significantly from 10.1 percent in December 2006 to 6.3 percent in December 2010.

Monetary policy was largely accommodative to stimulate demand hence the bank rate was adjusted downwards by 2.0 percentage points in August 2010 from 15.0 percent to 13.0 percent.

3.2 Medium Term Macroeconomic Prospects

The medium term projections for MGDS II are aimed at consolidating the gains achieved during the implementation of the previous strategy. Government will continue to pursue sound economic policies geared at increasing and sustaining economic growth, maintaining inflation rate at single digit, maintaining flexible exchange rate and improving foreign reserve position. [During the implementation period of the MGDS II, the economy is expected to achieve an average GDP growth rate of 7.2 percent]. The following sections provide the macroeconomic assumptions and projections employed to drive the economy during the MGDS II implementation. Table 3.2 below shows a summary of projections for key selected indicators.

Table 3.2:

Summary of Selected Indicators, 2011–2016

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Source: Ministry of Development Planning & Cooperation, MalawiMod.

Fiscal numbers are reported on calendar basis.

3.2.1 Output and Prices

The prospects for high growth in GDP are premised on the gains from MGDS and are projected to be largely driven by agriculture, mining, distribution, construction and services sectors. Consequently, private consumption is projected to increase by 6.7 percent due to improvements in real disposable income. Consumption in the smallholder sector is expected to grow significantly by 5.0 percent annually over the MGDS II period.

An increase in national investment will be a catalyst for the projected growth which in turn will create broad based employment. Investment will be built on foundations laid in the previous strategy with emphasis in areas of infrastructure development, such as electricity generation and supply, transportation and irrigation.

During the MGDS II implementation period, average annual inflation is expected to decline from 8.7 percent to 5.9 percent. Despite the risk of an increase in international commodity prices, domestic prices will be suppressed due to availability of domestically produced food stuff on the market as a result of continued policy on farm input subsidy program.

3.2.2 Fiscal Operations

Fiscal policy in MGDS II will largely aim at restricting the growth of fiscal deficits. Government will endeavour to boost domestic resource mobilization, consequently reducing domestic borrowing. Increased public investment will be geared towards supporting export diversification and economic growth. Accordingly, during the implementation period, fiscal performance is expected to remain solid with overall fiscal balance for the period averaging a surplus of 1.5 percent of GDP.

Total revenue and grants are projected to average 28.7 percent of GDP against an average total expenditure projection of 27.2 percent of GDP. On the other hand, domestic resources are expected to average 24.1 percent of GDP.

Financing for MGDS II key priorities and themes will be through the national budget in the context of a three year Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). However, the budgetary resources fall short of the needs-based resource requirements for the country to achieve all its objectives. It is expected that the resource gap will be complemented by the private sector and other stakeholders. The budgetary allocation to the key priorities and themes are presented in chapter six on the Implementation Framework while Annex 3 gives detailed needs-based resource requirement for MGDS II.

3.2.3 External Sector and Monetary Operations

During the MGDS II implementation period, the goal will be to improve the current account position. Emphasis will be on pursuit of an export led growth with major investments in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and tourism sectors. Within the agricultural sector the objective will be to increase the country’s market share in traditional agricultural products such as sugar, cotton, coffee and tea as well as diversifying away from tobacco into wheat, cassava, macadamia nuts, fruits, pulses and vegetable commodities among others. This will also aim at increasing value addition on mining and tourism products.

Monetary policy will continue to gear towards achieving price stability but at the same time giving sufficient room for private sector activity. Resonating around the projected strong economic growth, broadly defined money supply is expected to grow at a pace consistent with nominal GDP in a bid to contain inflationary pressures. Domestic credit will be expected to pick up in the medium term to support private activities and investment. Foreign direct investment will also be encouraged in the mining, tourism and manufacturing sectors to boost investment in the country. Private sector credit is envisaged to remain strong. It is expected that private sector growth will take advantage of a conducive macroeconomic climate projected in the MGDS II period. Over the same period, the exchange rate will continue to be market determined.

3.4 Challenges and Risks

While the economy will be on a trajectory for growth over the period, there are several factors that may pose challenges and risks in attaining the growth rates projected in the strategy. Major risks include:

  • (i) Unstable world economic output and commodity prices coupled with deteriorating terms of trade;

  • (ii) Unpredictable and unreliable aid flows which can affect implementation of the fiscal policy; and

  • (iii) Unfavourable weather conditions and natural calamities of disasters that can derail agricultural production in the country.

Chapter 4 Thematic Areas

The MGDS II rests on six thematic areas that are covered in this chapter. These themes holistically address all the needs of the country to achieve sustainable socio-economic development, but also attain the MDGs. It is believed that effective implementation of the strategies therein will take the Malawi economy to a higher level of development. It is, however, recognized that the resource envelope to finance the requisite activities is limited and hence the need to prioritise. The priorities within priorities which this strategy has identified emanate from these six themes. The six themes are: Sustainable Economic Growth; Social Development; Social Support and Disaster Risk Management; Infrastructure Development; Governance; and Cross-Cutting Issues.

Theme 1: Sustainable Economic Growth

Sustainable economic growth is key to poverty reduction and improvements in the living standards of Malawians. Over the past five years, Malawi’s economic growth has continued to exceed expectations with an annual growth rate averaging 7.5 percent compared to the projected 6 percent. During the same period, poverty levels declined from 50 percent to 39 percent4. This is attributed to sound macroeconomic policies and a stable political environment. During the implementation of MGDS, Malawi also experienced strong donor support, increased foreign direct investment and transformation in infrastructure, among other developments. However, the country still faces a number of challenges such as inadequate energy supply, narrow export base, climate change, environmental degradation, and unemployment.

To address these challenges, the Government through MGDS II will continue implementing interventions aimed at ensuring sustainable economic growth. These require action on multiple fronts to deliver on inclusive growth. In this respect, emphasis will be to maximize the contribution of potential growth sectors such as agriculture; tourism; and mining while creating an enabling environment for private sector participation and development; fostering job creation; empowering rural communities; ensuring equitable access to land; and promoting sustainable use of the environment.

The Sustainable Economic Growth thematic area comprises eight sub-themes namely: agriculture; mining; natural resources and environmental management; industry, trade and private sector development; rural development; tourism; labour and employment; and land. Table 4.1 presents a summary of the long-term goals and medium-term expected outcomes of each of the sub-themes.

Table 4.1:

Sustainable Economic Growth Theme

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Table 4.2:

Summary of Social Development Theme

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Table 4.3:

Summary of Social Support and Disaster Risk Management Theme

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Table 4.4:

Summary of Infrastructure Development Them

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Table 4.5:

Summary of Governance Theme

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Table 4.6:

Summary of Gender and Capacity Development Theme

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Sub-Theme 1: Agriculture

The agriculture sector remains the main driver of economic growth in Malawi. It employs about 80 percent of the total workforce, contributes about 75 percent to foreign exchange earnings, and approximately 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The sector contributes significantly to national and household food security. It is, therefore, evident that investing in agriculture will foster economic growth and development and assist in attaining the aspirations of Malawians as stipulated in the country’s Vision 2020.

Recognizing the importance of the sector in fostering economic growth for the country, the Government of Malawi has been allocating substantial resources during the implementation of the MGDS as compared to the period prior to the MGDS. The average sector’s budget has been around 16 percent of the national budget for the five years of the MGDS implementation as compared to an average of 6.1 percent during the period before the MGDS. Average per capita spending on agriculture rose significantly from US$3.21 during the MPRSP period (2000-2005) to about US$16.25 during the MGDS period (2006-2009). With the increased resources, the sector implemented a number of interventions in land resource conservation, research, extension, crops and livestock development and capacity building to improve productivity and enhance its contribution to the country’s economic growth and contribute to the attainment of the MDGs of eradicating poverty and hunger by the year 2015.

The country’s introduction of the FISP to smallholder farmers in the year 2005/06 has demonstrated the importance and value of investing in food crops as a step towards sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. In the last six years to 2010, increased food production has contributed substantially to reduction of poverty and eradication of hunger in the country. Welfare Monitoring Survey5 reports indicate that the number of Malawians at risk of hunger has been decreasing overtime due to FISP. In the period before 2005 about 5 million Malawians were at risk of hunger. This number dropped to about 500,000 in 2008. Furthermore, maize production increased from 1.22 million metric tons in 2005 to 3.4 million metric tons in 2010. This high production partly contributed to the sector’s average growth of 6.4 percent per annum in recent years which is above the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) target of 6 percent. Government is therefore committed to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability in implementing FISP.

Although there has been an increase in maize production and productivity, the sector still faces a number of challenges including low productivity, over dependence on rain-fed farming, low level of irrigation development, and low uptake of improved farm inputs. Furthermore, there are high transport costs, inadequate farmer organizations, insufficient extension services, inadequate markets and market information, limited access to agricultural credit, inefficient input and output markets and low technology development and transfer.

To attain the sector’s objectives and consolidate its contribution to economic growth, the sector has embarked on a coordinated approach to the implementation of programmes as outlined in Agricultural Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp). Focus areas are food security and risk management, agri-business and market development and sustainable land and water management. Other key areas include technology generation and dissemination and institutional strengthening and capacity building.

Agriculture and food security is one of the Key Priority Areas and with details on goals, expected outcome and strategies in the next chapter.

Sub-Theme 2: Natural Resources and Environmental Managemen

Natural resources form a principal source of social well being and economic development in Malawi. However, these resources are under constant stress from unprecedented human, industrial and other developmental activities which if not curbed might generate irreversible outcomes in the long-term. The Malawi UNCA Report (2010) estimates that unsustainable natural resource use cost Malawi about US$ 191 million, or 5.3 percent of GDP in 2010. These activities have resulted into a reduction in the proportion of land under forest cover from 41 percent in 1990 to 35 percent in 2008 (MDGs Annual Report, 2009). This is compounded by increased climate variations experienced in the form of prolonged dry spells, droughts, floods and temperature variability, which in turn have negatively affected the performance of sectors such as agriculture, natural resources, irrigation and water development, and energy.

During the past five years, the sector registered remarkable progress in a number of areas including compliance to the EMPs of development projects and programs; setting standards on pollution control and waste management; increased public awareness on environment and natural resources management; enhanced early warning; improved weather information systems; increased land area under industrial plantations from 1,609 ha in 2005 to 5,784 ha in 2010; and increased customary land area planted with trees from 77,810 ha in 2005 with 194,524,672 trees to 187,791 ha with about 275 million trees planted in 2010.

Despite the above achievements, the sector still faces a number of challenges which require immediate attention for the country to sustain the development achieved so far. Some of these challenges include climate variability, weak institutional capacity for managing climate change, inadequate mainstreaming of climate change issues; weak enforcement capacity of laws and regulations; accelerated deforestation and poor land use management practices.

In Malawi, forestry resources form a principal part of natural resources and contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of the country. They provide forest goods and services such as catchment conservation, employment, industrial poles, timber for construction, fruits, mushroom and grass for thatching houses, medicine and herbs among others.

In view of this, Government through MGDS II will implement a number of interventions in the forestry subsector to sustain the country’s development. Climate change, natural resources and environmental management are a key priority area with details in the next chapter. The following are the goal, expected outcomes and key strategies for the forestry sub-sector.

Goal

The goal is to enhance sustainable management of forest resources and their contribution to national economy.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Increased forest cover; and

  • Increased incomes from forestry products and services.

Key Strategies
  • Developing, conserving and protecting forest plantations, customary estates and natural woodlands;

  • Strengthening institutional capacity of the sector;

  • Improving forestry extension services, research, and information management;

  • Enforcing and ensuring compliance with agreed national, regional, and international obligations and legislation; and

  • Promoting large, medium and small scale forest enterprises.

Sub-Theme 3: Mining

Malawi has rich mineral resources that if sustainably exploited would significantly contribute towards economic growth and development. These resources include coal, uranium, gemstone, limestone, dimension stones, gypsum and rock aggregates. It is expected that exploration activities currently going on will also reveal a lot of other mineral deposits. For example, recent discoveries indicate that the country has substantial deposits of Niobium, uranium and Zircon at Kanyika in Mzimba.

Government recognises that development of the mining industry can significantly boost economic growth of the country through employment creation and generation of foreign exchange. During the implementation of MGDS, contribution of mining to GDP rose from 3 percent to 10 percent due to the opening of the Kayelekera Uranium Mine in 2009. The sector currently employs over 21,000 people. The overall value of all mineral exports improved from MK43 million in 2006 to over MK17.7 billion in 2010. This resulted in over MK2 billion in revenue generated by government in 2010. The sector increased its ability to supply mineral raw materials to industries by developing capacity of both small scale and large scale miners.

However, the sector faces numerous challenges including inadequate institutional capacity, outdated policies, low investment and non existence of a corporate entity to look at government and local Malawian shareholding in mining ventures. It is for this reason that Government, through the MGDS II will continue to create an enabling environment to attract more investments into the subsector. Mining is a key priority area with details on goal, outcome and strategies in the next chapter.

Sub-Theme 4: Private Sector Development, Industry and Trade

The private sector is the engine for economic growth and wealth creation. Government will continue to ensure creation of a conducive environment for private sector participation in industrial development and trade promotion. Increased industrial activities are critical for generating employment opportunities, expanded manufacturing base, enhancing value addition and diversifying exports. Besides enhancing foreign exchange earnings, trade promotion assists industries to benefit from economies of scale through expanded markets.

In the past five years, the country has undertaken a number of reforms including the establishment of a commercial court and simplification of trade regime. These reforms coupled with macroeconomic and political stability have led to an increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Despite these achievements, the sector still faces a number of challenges including inadequate energy supply, weak institutional and regulatory framework, insufficient supportive infrastructure, narrow export base, inability to meet standards, limited information about trade opportunities, high cost of doing business, limited value addition, and limited credit facilities.

Government, through MGDS II will continue implementing interventions in the sector. Trade and industrial development are key priority areas with details in the next chapter. The following are goal, expected outcomes and key strategies for private sector development.

Goal

The goal is to develop and promote a conducive environment that will enhance inclusive private sector growth and competitiveness.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved environment for domestic and foreign investments created;

  • Increased investments by both local and foreign entrepreneurs; and

  • Improved productivity and market access of enterprises.

Key Strategies

The main strategies will include:

  • Fostering pro-business legal and regulatory reforms;

  • Providing supportive infrastructure and services for both start-ups and expanding enterprises;

  • Promoting growth of local MSMEs;

  • Promoting private sector investment in rural areas;

  • Strengthening the capacity of private sector supporting institutions and PPPs;

  • Enhancing dissemination of business information;

  • Promoting adoption of modern and appropriate technologies;

  • Establishing a national investment company; and

  • Promoting and strengthening the development of cooperatives.

Sub-Theme 5: Rural Development

Malawi’s population is primarily rural based. It is estimated that 84.7 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas and is involved in smallholder agriculture with limited access to basic needs such as health, education and transport infrastructure.

Government has prioritised decentralisation as a mechanism for improving rural livelihoods. The process provides people at district, and local levels with the ability to effectively plan and prioritise implementation of activities and democratically elect their local representatives. Furthermore, decentralization has offered a better mechanism for reducing bureaucracy; ensuring quality, timely and equitable provision of services; and enhancing transparency and accountability.

During the past five years efforts have been made to assist rural communities by implementing a number of programmes including community development programmes; FISP, rural industrialization with One Village One Product (OVOP) initiative as one of the major components; public works programme through which construction of some school buildings was carried out; construction of teacher’s houses and clinics; provision of water supply schemes; and improvement of other rural social infrastructure.

However, there is a need to continue implementing programmes to improve livelihoods of the rural communities and generate sustainable long term economic growth. Emphasis will be on fostering participation, ownership, and empowerment of rural communities. In this respect Government through MGDS II will continue promoting decentralisation in the provision of services to rural communities. With decentralization at the core, an integrated approach to rural development will be pursued. Integrated Rural Development is thus one of the key priority areas to be covered in details in the next chapter. In this section, goal, expected outcomes and key strategies for decentralization and rural industrialization will be covered.

Decentralization

Decentralization is the process of devolving some of the government functions from central government (line ministries) to the local government (local authorities). With decentralization, implementation of programmes is improved since the local population is encouraged to actively participate at all levels of decision making. This in turn helps to promote transparency and accountability at the local level.

Goal

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

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Empowered local government structures;

  • Enhanced participation and ownership of the development programmes by local communities; and

  • Improved coordination at district level.

Key Strategies
  • Enhancing implementation of the decentralization process;

  • Strengthening community participation in development;

  • Strengthening coordination of local government systems;

  • Institutionalising the policy and oversight functions of the sectors that have devolved functions to the councils;

  • Promoting fiscal devolution and good financial management;

  • Strengthening the M&E system; and

  • Strengthening capacity of local government structures and stakeholders.

Rural industrialization

Most industries in Malawi are in urban areas due to lack of supportive infrastructure in rural areas. This has exacerbated rural unemployment, rural-urban migration, skewed development and poverty. Therefore, to foster balanced development, curb rural-urban migration and create employment for the rural population, government has been implementing rural industrialization.

Goal

The goal is to improve living standards of rural communities through enhanced rural industrialization.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes
  • Enhanced product diversification;

  • Reduced rural-urban migration;

  • Reduced poverty among rural communities; and

  • Increased employment for rural population.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting industrial projects in rural areas;

  • Promoting equal access to credit;

  • Strengthening and expanding OVOP initiatives in rural areas;

  • Promoting development of supportive infrastructure; and

  • Building capacity in product diversification, business management, and production processes.

Sub-Theme 6: Tourism, Wildlife and Culture

Tourism, wildlife and culture sector is one of the emerging sectors in Malawi with a potential to significantly contribute towards the country’s socio-economic development. Overall, the sector estimates that the contribution of tourism to the economy has grown steadily over the years. The sector has the potential to generate revenue; create employment; and promote MSMEs, among others. In Malawi, the physical environment (including lakes, wildlife, and mountains) and culture are an integral part of the tourism industry as they are a source of tourist attraction and can positively contribute to eco-tourism development of the country. Lake Malawi and the beautiful mountains throughout the country are major tourist attractions. Sustainable management of biodiversity, natural resources and preservation of cultural values alongside development of appropriate infrastructure have potential to boost the tourism industry.

The sector registered a number of achievements during implementation of MGDS. These include improved quality and standards of tourism units; improved wildlife conservation; construction and rehabilitation of national monuments and other cultural infrastructure; research on national heritage; and animal translocation and restocking. For example, through the restocking programme, the number of animals moved to various protected areas increased from about 100 in 2005 to 283 in 2010 (Department of National Parks and Wildlife).

Despite these achievements, the sector encountered a number of challenges such as inadequate supporting infrastructure; inadequate marketing of Malawi’s tourism products and services; human-animal conflicts; inadequate conservation and awareness; and lack of purpose-built cultural infrastructure.

Therefore, Government through MGDS II will continue implementing interventions in this sub-sector. Tourism is one of the key priority areas with details in the next chapter. Following are goals, expected outcomes and key strategies for wildlife and culture.

Wildlife

Tourism in Malawi is overwhelmingly wildlife and nature. It generates foreign exchange and contributes to economic growth. However, wildlife faces a number of challenges including poaching, low populations of animals in some protected areas; poor supporting infrastructure; low community participation in wildlife conservation; and insufficient institutional capacity.

Goal

The goal is to conserve and manage wildlife in both protected areas and natural habitats.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved wildlife management; and

  • Improved institutional and regulatory framework.

Key Strategies
  • Strengthening institutional capacity to manage protected areas and ecosystems;

  • Improving law enforcement and effectiveness;

  • Reducing human – animal conflicts;

  • Promoting alternative livelihood sources for communities living around protected areas;

  • Promoting and regulating wildlife farming, utilization and trade;

  • Encouraging community wildlife conservation and monitoring;

  • Enhancing wildlife IEC programmes; and

  • Developing a database to monitor wildlife population trends.

Culture

Culture is another important aspect for tourism development. Malawi is endowed with a rich and diverse culture. The major challenge in the sub-sector is lack of purpose-built cultural infrastructure such as museums, arts centres and national archives buildings. Government, through MGDS II will therefore undertake a number of initiatives to promote Malawi’s culture as outlined below.

Goal

The goal is to uphold and promote national heritage for identity, posterity and development.

Medium-term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved preservation of Malawi’s cultural heritage and values; and

  • Increased promotion and development of Malawi’s culture.

Key Strategies
  • Preserve historical artefacts and upgrade retrieval system;

  • Preserve and construct national monuments;

  • Promote establishment of cultural centres;

  • Create public awareness on national heritage programs;

  • Promote and preserve local cultural diversity;

  • Promote research and documentation of Malawi’s cultural and natural heritage; and

  • Enhance the sub-sector’s institutional capacity.

Sub-Theme 7: Labour and Employment

Labour as a factor of production is a key component of growth. A skilled and productive labour force contributes meaningfully to economic growth and improved living standards. Earnings from employment drive consumption as well as investment which helps a country to realize sustained growth. Equal opportunity to employment is a right for all productive age-groups.

In the last 5 years, the economy grew by an average of 7.5 per cent, and invariably creating employment. Robust labour statistics is needed to determine the number, level and type of employment created during these years. This is one of the challenges to be addressed by the strategy. It should be noted, however, that according to the Annual Economic Business Survey, private sector formal employment rose from 709,118 in 2005 to 897,277 in 2010.

Other challenges in this sub-sector include low labour productivity, weak institutional and regulatory framework, inadequate skills development and lack of adherence to occupational safety and health standards. Recognizing that employment is cross-cutting, this strategy will emphasize labour intensive investments across all sectors to enhance employment generation and improve labour productivity. To achieve this, the strategy will pursue the following goal, medium term expected outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to stimulate and ensure productive and decent employment for improved standards of living.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved labour productivity;

  • Increased gainful and decent employment for all;

  • Strengthened legal, regulatory and institutional reforms;

  • Eliminated worst forms of child labour; and

  • Improved labour statistics.

Key Strategies
  • Establishing an effective and efficient labour market information (LMI) system;

  • Promoting occupational safety and health;

  • Integrating child labour issues into development initiatives and interventions;

  • Integrating gender specific issues in all labour initiatives and interventions;

  • Reviewing, harmonizing and enforcing existing legislation on child labour;

  • Promoting labour intensive investments in the productive and service sectors;

  • Reducing all forms of discrimination in the labour market;

  • Promoting skills development, testing and certification; and

  • Promoting labour administration systems.

Sub Theme 8: Land

There are three legally recognized types of land tenure in Malawi: customary, public and private with customary land tenure being the most widespread category. Land is a basic factor of production and an important source of livelihood. It is a source of income, nation’s wealth, and provides cultural identity and shelter. Appropriate land interventions can therefore yield multiplier effects to the entire economy. Such interventions include formulation and implementation of appropriate land management and administration policies.

Over the past five years, Government implemented a number of initiatives including reallocation of land to poor households largely through the Community Based Rural Land Development Project (CBRLDP) and introduction of land administration and management courses at tertiary level. The sector also embarked on designing and implementing a computerized title deed registration system.

The major challenge facing the sector is increased demand for land emanating from rapid population growth, high rate of urbanization and improved economic growth. Other challenges include low institutional capacity, poor land practices, and insufficient public awareness on land laws.

Goal

The goal is to ensure equitable access to land and tenure security; efficient management and administration system; and ecologically balanced use of land and land-based resources.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved equitable access to land and tenure security;

  • Improved land planning, ecologically balanced land use and management; and

  • Improved provision of geospatial information.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting land ownership and title registration;

  • Providing physical development planning standards, management guidelines and legal framework;

  • Decentralizing land administration and management functions;

  • Developing a geospatial database and establishing a national Spatial Data Centre;

  • Preparing a National Spatial Framework for Strategic Physical Development Planning and Management;

  • Raising public awareness on land related laws, policies, and procedures; and

  • Developing mechanism for widespread dissemination of geographic information and digital mapping services.

Theme 2: Social Development

Social development is a major pillar for improving the well-being of Malawians. It contributes to reduction of poverty and plays a key role in raising economic productivity of the country. To achieve socio-economic development, Malawi requires a healthy and educated population that grows at a sustainable rate. High rates of population growth have far reaching implications on social and economic development of a country. Provision of social services such as health and education in the country is greatly affected by the prevailing population dynamics. Thus fertility, mortality and migration affect the population size, age-sex structure, life expectancy, dependency ratio and spatial distribution which in turn determine resource allocation.

Over the last five years, Government has significantly improved the provision of social services in health, education, child development and protection, youth development, nutrition and HIV and AIDS management. In addition, the country’s fertility rate has dropped from 6.0 in 2005 to 5.7 in 2010 (DHS 2005, 2010). However, the fertility rate is still high and remains a challenge to socio-economic development of the country. Recognizing the interrelated nature of population and socio-economic development, Government through this strategy will implement interventions focusing on population, education, health, child development and protection, youth development and nutrition

Sub-Theme 1: Population

Population influences all aspects of socio-economic development. Due to high fertility rate, Malawi’s population is growing rapidly at 2.8 percent per annum (PHC, 2008). This high population growth exerts pressure on provision of social services especially schools and health facilities and environment among others, resulting in decreased welfare of the average Malawian.

During MGDS implementation, Government increased the provision of sexual and reproductive health services which raised awareness and contributed to an increase in the proportion of the population using contraceptives. During the same period there was an increase in primary school girls’ completion rate. These have contributed to a reduction in the fertility rate from 6.0 in 2005 to 5.7 in 2010 (DHS 2005, 2010). The slight reduction in fertility rate underlines the major challenges that exist. These challenges include relatively low access to contraceptives, low women empowerment, high dropout rate amongst school going girls and early marriages.

To address the above challenges, Government through this strategy will pursue the following goal, outcomes and key strategies.

Goal

The goal is to manage population growth for sustainable socio-economic development.

Medium - Term Expected Outcomes

Medium term expected outcomes include the following:

  • Reduced fertility rate; and

  • Well managed migration.

Key Strategies

In responding to challenges posed by demographic dynamics, Government will implement the following strategies:

  • Enhancing the provision, access, delivery and utilization of SRH services to all including the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

  • Advocating girls’ education and delayed marriage;

  • Promoting the small family concept;

  • Providing SRH education for both in- and out-of-school sexually active population;

  • Strengthening migration and national vital registration systems; and

  • Addressing the vulnerabilities caused by population ageing, migration and rapid urbanization, and the interdependence of population and the environment.

Sub-Theme 2: Health

A healthy population is key to increased productivity and sustainable economic growth. There is a strong correlation between health status and level of development. In general poor health is costly to households and the economy. In particular, access to health care is low among the rural poor and the cost of maintaining better health is high.

The country’s health indicators show that there are a number of challenges including high prevalence of preventable diseases, high mortality rates, high prevalence of HIV, high incidence of malaria cases, high incidence of TB cases, limited access to maternal health services, low institutional capacity, inadequate supply of essential drugs and inadequate health infrastructure.

During the implementation of MGDS, the country registered a number of achievements including reduction in infant mortality rate from 76 per 1,000 in 2004 to 66 per 1,000 in 2010; under five mortality rate from 133 per 1,000 in 2004 to 112 per 1,000 in 2010; maternal mortality rate from 984 per 100,000 in 2004 to 675 per 100,000 in 2010; and HIV prevalence from 11.8 percent in 2004 to 10.6 percent in 2010 (DHS, 2004 and 2010). In addition there has been a reduction in malaria in-patient case fatality rate from 7 percent in 2004 to 3.2 percent in 2010 (Malaria Indicator Survey, 2010); increase in TB cure rate from 74 percent in 2004 to 88 percent in 2010 (Health Sector Annual Report, 2010) and increase in proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel from 38 percent in 2004 to 75 percent in 2009 (WMS, 2009).

Despite these achievements, the country still faces a number of challenges including high prevalence of diseases, high mortality rates, high prevalence of HIV, high incidence of malaria cases, limited access to maternal health services, low institutional capacity, inequitable access and utilization of EHP services, inefficiency of health care system, high prevalence of health risk factors, inadequate supply of essential drugs, and inadequate health infrastructure.

To adequately address health challenges and to raise the health status of all Malawians, Government has identified Public Health, Sanitation, Malaria and HIV and AIDS Management as a key priority area. Details of the goals, outcomes and strategies of the health sub-theme are presented in the next chapter.

Sub-Theme 3: Education

Education is essential for social-economic development and industrial growth. It is an instrument for empowering the poor, the weak and the voiceless as it provides them with equal opportunity to participate in local and national development. It is through education that group solidarity, national consciousness and tolerance of diversity is enhanced. In essence, Government wishes to ensure better access and equity, relevance and quality, good governance and efficient management in all education sub-sectors. The sector is directly linked to the two MDGs namely 1) achieve universal primary education, and 2) promote gender equality and empower women.

During the last five years, Government carried out a number of initiatives aimed at improving quality and relevance of education as well as access to education. Within this period primary school curriculum was revised and new teaching and learning materials procured and distributed. Teacher training was expanded using Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) and Open Distance Learning (ODL). Primary school net enrolment increased from 73 percent in 2006 to 83 percent in 2009. According to the Education Management Information System (EMIS 2010), dropout rate at standard one declined from 23 percent in 2005 to 12.7 percent in 2010. Survival rate at standard eight improved from 26.1 percent in 2005 to 48.8 percent in 2010. In addition, 17 girls’ hostels each of a maximum capacity of 224 beds were constructed. Furthermore, enrolment in public technical colleges increased from 800 students in 2005 to 1,326 in 2010.

Despite these achievements, the country is still constrained by a number of challenges which render the education system inefficient and inequitable. Some of the challenges include: high illiteracy rate; limited integration of students with special needs; shortage of qualified teachers; inadequate and inferior physical learning infrastructure; poor participation of school committees and their communities in school management; inadequate teaching and learning resources such as libraries; laboratories and computers; low enrolment of girls in technical institutions; relatively high unit cost of training a student in the public universities and technical colleges; and limited human capacity and material resources.

Recognizing the important role education plays in the country’s development, Government has identified education as one of the key priorities. Key outcomes and strategies are discussed in detail in the next chapter under Education Science and Technology key priority area.

Sub-Theme 4: Child Development and Protection

Children are the future of every nation. In Malawi, children aged 0 to 9 years, constitute a significant proportion of the population. Investing in child development guarantees future human capital and productivity. Children are vulnerable to abuse, violence, neglect, malnutrition and subject to harmful cultural practices. The AIDS pandemic has hit children hard by creating a growing number of orphans and making them destitute. They therefore need special protection so that they grow into productive and responsible citizens.

Over the past five years, progress was made in addressing some of the challenges faced by children. For example, Early Child Development Centres were increased from 5,945 in 2005 to 8,933 in 2010 (Ministry of Women, Children and Community Development). In addition, primary school net enrolment increased; the number of girls accessing primary level education rose to almost achieving gender parity; and infant and child mortality rates decreased. Regulatory and policy framework for the protection of children was also put in place.

Nevertheless, children in Malawi still face a number of challenges which are of social, economic, political and cultural in nature. These threaten their individual potential and the future of the nation in general. It is in this context that addressing child issues is one of the priorities of Government’s development agenda. Key outcomes and strategies are discussed in detail in the next chapter under child development, youth development and youth empowerment key priority area.

Sub-Theme 5: Youth Development

The youth, aged 10 to 29 years, constitutes a significant and growing labour force for the country. They provide a vast human resource potential, which, if properly nurtured can greatly contribute to sustainable economic growth and development. The youth are energetic, industrious, and willing to learn and adopt new innovations.

Over the past five years some progress has been made in addressing challenges faced by the youth. These include increased access to capital through the establishment of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund; expansion of the university student intake; improved technical and vocational training, construction of secondary school boarding facilities for girls; improving access to Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS services; and establishment of information centres.

Nonetheless, there still exist a number of social, cultural and economic factors that limit the youth’s contribution to sustainable economic growth and development. Some of these limiting factors include high illiteracy and innumeracy levels; inadequate technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills; limited access to credit facilities; high unemployment rate; poor access to guidance and counselling services; poverty and deprivation; marginalization in decision making processes; early marriages and teenage pregnancies. High prevalence of HIV and AIDS and limited access to SRH services further compounds the ability of the youth to meaningfully contribute to socio-economic development of the country.

Recognizing the potential that the youth have in fostering the growth of the economy, Government has included Youth Development and Empowerment as a key priority area in this development strategy.

Sub-Theme 6: Nutrition

Adequate nutrition is a prerequisite for human development. It is critical for one’s physical and intellectual development, and work productivity hence an integral element for the socioeconomic development. It is also important in the attainment of most MDGs particularly those related to hunger and poverty, education, child and maternal health, and mitigation of HIV and AIDS. Government having recognized that malnutrition is a silent crisis and is characterized by high levels of nutrition disorders such as stunting, wasting and underweight, included prevention and management of nutrition disorders amongst the priority intervention areas.

Sufficient nutrition is crucial for building and maintaining the immune system to enable it fight infections. In the absence of adequate nutrition, the body’s immune system is weak and vulnerable to attack by various infections. This affects one’s productivity and quality of life. One such infection is HIV and AIDS. The interaction between HIV and AIDS and nutrition will be discussed in detail under Public Health, Sanitation, Malaria and HIV and AIDS Management key priority area in the next chapter.

During the last five years, Government implemented a number of interventions to improve nutrition. The interventions included school health and nutrition programmes; Vitamin A supplementations; and nutrition support programmes. These interventions have resulted in improvement of nutrition indicators. For instance, the percentage of underweight children decreased from 22 percent in 2004 to 13 percent in 2010 (DHS, 2010). In addition, iodine status improved among school aged children and women. Outcomes of severely malnourished children also improved as a result of early case detection and timely treatment.

However, the country still faces a number of challenges mainly emanating from the underlying causes of under-nutrition. These include low household 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. Other constraints include low institutional capacity and inadequate mainstreaming of nutrition in sectoral programmes. To address these challenges, Government will continue to place nutrition issues on its development agenda.

Goal

The goal is to have a well nourished population that effectively contributes to development of the country.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that there will be reduced prevalence of nutrition disorders.

Key Strategies

Key strategies include:

  • Promoting exclusive breastfeeding practices for children aged 0-6 months;

  • Promoting optimal feeding practices for children aged 6-24 months and beyond;

  • Promoting optimal feeding of a sick child during and after illness;

  • Promoting the prevention, control and treatment of micronutrient deficiency disorders, particularly those caused by Vitamin A, Iodine and Iron deficiencies, including food fortification;

  • Improving access to nutrition supplements for malnourished children, expectant, lactating mothers, the elderly and physically challenged;

  • Promoting access to at least one nutritious meal and related health and nutrition services for the school-going children;

  • Strengthening capacities for households and communities to attain adequate nutrition;

  • Preventing and controlling nutrition related non-communicable and other diseases;

  • Scaling up innovative interventions in quality management of malnutrition among the various population groups;

  • Strengthening institutional and human capacities for the effective delivery of nutrition services;

  • Promoting health lifestyles; and

  • Promoting production and access to high nutritive value foods for diversified and nutritious diets.

Theme 3: Social Support and Disaster Risk Management

Poverty headcount and extreme poverty levels have declined significantly since 2005. The country has also experienced improved economic growth averaging 7.5 percent per year. However, despite the reduction in poverty levels and impressive economic growth, there are still sections of the population in extreme poverty that still require social support. In addition, the country has been experiencing a number of disasters that have negatively affected national development and led to loss of lives due to inadequate early warning infrastructure and mitigation measures. Despite the food surplus the country enjoyed during the last five years, natural disasters such as drought led to food insecurity in selected districts which required humanitarian assistance. This theme is therefore aimed at continued provision of social support to the vulnerable and strengthening disaster risk management.

Over the last five years, a number of initiatives were implemented aimed at fighting poverty. These resulted in the decline of poverty incidence from 50 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2009. This trend was accompanied by a reduction in ultra-poverty from 22 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2009. This achievement is largely attributed to agricultural FISP which on average benefited 1.3 million Malawians per year since 2005. In addition, the Government implemented Targeted Support to School Meals, Public Works Programme, Village Savings and Lending and Microcredit programmes and continued piloting the SCT programme.

Sub-Theme 1: Supporting the Vulnerable

Vulnerability is defined as people’s inability to meet their basic needs due to exposure to a hazard and lack of resilience. In Malawi, the most vulnerable include the elderly, the chronically sick, orphans and other vulnerable children, persons with disabilities, and destitute families. These categories of people are vulnerable to risk and lack resilience, which constrains them from engaging in higher economic return activities to enable them move out of chronic poverty and ultimately above the poverty line.

During the last five years, implementation of the SCT managed to increase the assets of the poor while the School Meals programme resulted in an upsurge in primary school attendance and retention. In all, the proportion of the disadvantaged receiving conditional and unconditional cash transfer increased from 4 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2010. At the same time the Public Works Program increased its coverage from 130,000 people in 2009 to 335,225 in 2010. The government also developed National Social Support framework to guide the design and implementation of social support interventions.

Despite these achievements, social support activities continue to face challenges. These challenges include: unavailability of regulatory instruments for programme implementation which compromise beneficiary targeting, financial sustainability and continuity of programmes. In addition, direct assistance and social transfers were limited in coverage largely due to financial constraints.

In the next five years, Government intends to refocus its attention on productivity enhancement interventions that are developmental in nature as well as provision of welfare support to improve social economic status of the vulnerable section of the population.

Goal

The goal is to improve resilience and quality of life for the poor to move out of poverty and vulnerability.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium-term, it is expected that Malawi will have attained:

  • Improved asset base and productive capacity for the poor; and

  • Improved social security interventions.

Key Strategies

The expected outcomes above will be achieved through implementation of the following key strategies:

  • Enhancing and promoting predictable transfers to the most vulnerable and the ultra poor households;

  • Promoting longer term, skills oriented and asset enhancing interventions;

  • Establishing coherent and progressive social support synergies;

  • Promoting existing livelihood activities for the poor;

  • Promoting village savings and loans programmes; and

  • Improving and scaling up the Social Cash Transfer Programmes.

Sub-Theme 2: Disaster Risk Management

Malawi faces a number of disasters, both natural and manmade which include floods, drought, strong winds, hailstorms, landslides, earthquakes, pest infestations, disease outbreaks, fire, accidents, refugee influx and civil strife. The magnitude, frequency and impact of disasters have been increasing, in light of climate change, population growth and environmental degradation. Disasters disrupt people’s livelihoods, endanger human lives and food security, damage infrastructure and hinder economic growth and development among others. Disasters also increase poverty of rural and urban households and erode the ability of the national economy to invest in key social sectors which are important to reducing poverty. Poor households, particularly female headed are more vulnerable to disasters since women tend to be more reliant on the environment than men for food and are primary gatherers of water and firewood. It is, therefore, important to address disaster risks for the socio-economic development of the country.

Currently the DRM is facing a number of challenges which include, lack of policy and strategy to effectively coordinate DRM activities; inadequate institutional capacity both at local and national levels to effectively carryout DRM activities; insufficient coverage and depth of disaster reduction activities; lack of an updated and upgraded risk assessment system for early warning; limited investment in knowledge and education for disaster risk reduction; and non-existence of a multi stakeholder forum for coordination of disaster risk management activities.

In the next five years, Government will implement a number of activities aimed at improving preparedness, response and recovery from disaster, and risk management.

Goal

The goal is to reduce social, economic and environmental impact of disasters.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that Malawi will have attained strengthened capacity for effective preparedness, response and recovery.

Key Strategies

In responding to the challenges faced within the DRM, government will implement the following strategies:

  • Developing and strengthening DRM policy and institutional frameworks;

  • Mainstreaming DRM into policies, strategies and programmes;

  • Strengthening DRM coordination mechanisms among stakeholders;

  • Enhancing capacity on the use of GIS and other remote sensing technologies;

  • Developing an integrated national EWS;

  • Implementing mitigation measures in disaster prone areas;

  • Promoting awareness, access, distribution and utilization of reliable and relevant DRM information; and

  • Incorporating DRM in all school curricula.

Theme 4: Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure is one of the key prerequisites 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. Government has singled out energy, transport and water development as some of the key priority areas for the MGDS II. It is envisaged that development of the prioritized infrastructure will contribute to the realization of sustained economic development for Malawi.

There are five sub themes under infrastructure development, namely: Energy, Transport; Water Development; Information and Communication; and Housing and Urban Development. Out of these, energy, transport and water development will be discussed in detail in the chapter on key priority areas.

Sub-Theme 1: Energy

A well-developed and efficient energy system is vital for socio-economic development. In this respect, increasing generation capacity, improving transmission, distribution and supply of electricity will contribute to an efficient energy system in the economy. Improving the distribution and supply of other energy sources will complement an efficient energy system. During the implementation of the MGDS, the energy sector registered a number of achievements including establishment of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) in 2007; pre-feasibility study on construction of an Oil Pipe line from Beira to Nsanje which revealed viability of the Oil Pipe line project; rehabilitation of Tedzani I & II in which 40MW of installed capacity was restored; training of 400 biomass briquette producers, 100 briquette stove producers, 230 ceramic liner producers, and establishment of 20 briquette production centres, 24 briquettes stove production centres and 7 ceramic liner production centers in the cities as alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on charcoal and firewood. As a result of promotion of use of alternative sources of energy, there has been a decline in the proportion of the population using solid fuels from 94.8 percent in 2005 to 78 percent in 2010.

In addition, there has been an increase in the percentage of households with access to electricity from 4 in 2005 to 9 in 2010. This is partly due to successful implementation of rural electrification program which has increased the number of trading centres connected to electricity from 45 in 2005 to 182 in 2010. Furthermore, within the same period, 6 villages were energized with Solar/Wind hybrid systems and this too has contributed to the increased access to electricity.

Despite these achievements, energy generation capacity in Malawi is low and has often been cited as one of the major constraints to industrial development. Recognizing the importance of energy in the economic development of the country, Government has put energy as one of the key priority areas in this development strategy.

Sub-Theme 2: Transport

Efficient transportation system provides better connectivity to local, regional and international markets. This reduces cost of production and marketing of goods and services through, among other things, reduction in lead times. Thus investment in the transport system plays a major role in socio-economic development. This investment involves the development of infrastructure and provision of services in all modes of transport, namely road, rail, air and water. Furthermore, the provision of high quality and affordable transport infrastructure improves access to social services such as education, health, markets and communication facilities.

During the implementation of the MGDS, the transport sector carried out a number of interventions aimed at improving the quality of infrastructure. The paved road network increased from 3,663 km in 2004 to 4,073 km in 2010; 215 km of the paved road network was rehabilitated out of the 293 km during the same period. Fuel levy now meets all the country’s routine road maintenance requirements. Other interventions included the preparation of the Transport Sector Investment Plan (TSIP) that will bring about coordinated and competitive development of all transport modes and enhancement of intermodal transport along the corridors. In addition, in the roads subsector Government has adopted the RSP to guide both the medium and long term investment programmes in the road transport subsector.

However, there are critical issues that are negatively impacting on the performance of the transport sector, which include: high construction costs; limited absorptive capacity of the available resources in the road sub-sector; lack of balanced competition and connectivity among the modes; limited supply of skilled artisans; inadequate investment in construction machinery; poor condition of most ports; and old navigation aids.

Government recognizes that improved transport infrastructure and services are crucial for economic development and has included road, rail and water transport as focus areas within Transport Infrastructure and Nsanje World Inland Port key priority area. This key priority area is covered in detail in the next chapter. Air transport is discussed below.

Air Transport

Air transport is the most efficient and effective means of transportation. It has the potential to promote tourism and enhance prospects for economic growth. Government recognizes that there is need to continuously improve air transport infrastructure and services to enhance trade, tourism and investment. To ensure air transport efficiency, Government will pursue the following goal; medium term expected outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to ensure a safe, efficient and competitive aviation industry.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term it is expected that Malawi will have attained:

  • Improved safety and management in accordance with international standards;

  • Improved reliability and competitiveness;

  • Improved regulatory and institutional framework; and

  • Improved security in airports.

Key Strategies

Main strategies include:

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

  • Providing safe, efficient, reliable aviation infrastructure and services;

  • Strengthening legislative and regulatory frameworks;

  • Promoting effective safety and security oversight systems;

  • Undertaking reforms in the aviation sector;

  • Strengthening institutional capacity;

  • Implementing environmental protection measures; and

  • Promoting PPPs to facilitate private investment.

Sub-Theme 3: Water Development

Water development is key to the socio-economic development of the country. It has direct linkages with sectors such as agriculture, industry, natural resources, health, tourism, energy and fisheries. Water is a fundamental catalyst for energy, transport, health, agriculture and biodiversity. Water development will also facilitate GBI development to increase agricultural production and productivity. Furthermore, improved water supply services have direct impact on lives of women and children by reducing the burden of water carriage for households.

Water, sanitation and hygiene services also make a significant contribution to public health and alleviation of the burden on curative health services by reducing disease transmission. Improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools significantly contribute to the quality of education by reducing disease burden among children and staff, improving school attendance and retention particularly among girls, improving attraction and retention of teachers and provides more effective learning through a safe and conducive environment.

The sector made notable progress during the implementation of MGDS. These include increased adoption of improved irrigation technologies, construction of dams, and rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and promotion of WASH. The country’s proportion of population with access to basic sanitation increased from 84 percent in 2005 to 93 percent in 2009. There was an increased percentage of population with access to safe potable water from 73 percent in 2005 to 84 percent in 2009 (WMS, 2009).

The water sector is facing challenges which include: degradation of water resources; vandalism of water facilities; limited access to potable water hence women walking long distances to fetch the water; inadequate promotion of hygiene and sanitation; inadequate water reservoirs; inadequate capacity of contractors and consultants; and poor state of suitable infrastructure for the effective management, treatment and disposal of solid and liquid waste. Due to the importance of water development, sanitation and greenbelt irrigation, Government has included them within key priority areas detailed in the next chapter.

Sub-Theme 4: Information and Communication

Information is a vital resource for all human kind throughout all stages of life. It is therefore important that information should be made available in a form that is applicable and usable, and at the right time. Use of ICT enhances the production, transportation and provision of information to the general public for human development as well as for making informed decisions. This sub-theme comprises ICT, and Media and Communication.

During the implementation of the MGDS, the sector made a number of achievements including connection to the optic fibre cable resulting in improved delivery of telecommunication services; increased mobile phone coverage; increased provision of broadcasting services; increased postal and courier service and automation of some of Government’s operations and services.

Despite these achievements the sector still faces a number of challenges. These include: low usage and adoption of electronic and online services; lack of effective regulatory frameworks; high communication costs; high printing costs; lack of coordination and collaboration on ICT infrastructure development; intermittent availability of service, low geographic coverage; low local content in terms of provision of information; inadequate institutional and human capacity and low usage of modern broadcasting technology.

Goal

The goal is to ensure better access to information.

Information and Communication Technology

Well developed information and communication technology system is essential for the development of a country. Malawi’s ICT is still underdeveloped. In this respect Government will implement ICT strategies that will facilitate e-services, increase public sector efficiency, grant citizens access to public services by making them available online (e-government). It will also promote production of exportable ICT products and services, encourage economic diversification in areas such as tourism, financial services, medical research, and telecommunication and create new jobs. Improvement of network connectivity will reduce communication costs thereby increasing access to information by majority of people living in the country.

Goal

The goal is to increase utilization of ICT, ensure universal access to ICT products and services to improve service delivery in both public and private sectors.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The expected medium term outcomes include:

  • Improved ICT broadband infrastructure;

  • Increased usage and access to information and communication services;

  • Improved postal and broadcasting services;

  • Improved ICT governance; and

  • Enhanced ICT capacity for the general public.

Key Strategies

Main strategies include:

  • Developing a reliable, fast, adaptive and robust national ICT infrastructure that feeds into international networks;

  • Mainstreaming ICT into sector policies and strategies and operations;

  • Improving ICT service access by rural and underserved communities;

  • Promoting the participation of private ICT service providers;

  • Promoting information, education and communication on ICT;

  • Improving efficiency in delivering postal services;

  • Migrating from analogue to digital television broadcasting;

  • Improving the regulatory framework for the sector;

  • Developing a comprehensive national database; and

  • Developing public online services.

Media and Communication

Media and communication is an important tool in promoting mass participation in decision making as well as in developmental processes. Media and communication provide alternatives to the public to express their developmental aspirations and priorities, and in shaping the public perception on a variety of important issues. Thus, the availability of a vibrant media and communication sub sector is a prerequisite to development.

Goal

The goal is to ensure that the population has access to timely and relevant information, and increase popular participation of citizens in development, governance and democratic processes.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that there will be increased access to information.

Key Strategies

The expected outcomes above will be achieved through implementation of the following key strategies:

  • Promoting distribution of publications;

  • Promoting screening of developmental video documentaries to communities;

  • Strengthening regulatory framework to facilitate free flow of information;

  • Abridging, translating and distributing policies and other important documents into major vernacular languages;

  • Strengthening IEC on topical issues;

  • Promoting discussion forums on topical issues; and

  • Enhancing skills capacity of media personnel.

Sub-Theme 5: Housing and Urban Development

Housing and urban development is crucial in the development of the country. Adequate and quality housing is one of the key indicators of development as it relates to basic needs and is crucial in assessing living conditions of a population. Currently Malawi has a high rate of urbanization estimated at 6.3 percent. Proper housing and structured urbanization reduces the rise in unplanned settlements, crime and the strain on government capacity to provide adequate security and social services. Regularization and titling of land is expected to facilitate use of land and property thereon, as collateral to obtain credit from financial institutions for investment.

During the implementation of MGDS, achievements registered include the following: maintained houses under government lease, constructed Government Offices, conducted quinquennial valuations and supplementary valuation rolls, decentralized the Rural Housing Programme, commenced a National Slum Upgrading Programme, developed Guidelines on Safer House Construction and continued construction of houses by the Malawi Housing Corporation.

Despite these achievements, the sub-sector still faces a number of challenges. These include: outdated and inadequate legislation and related procedures; high investment costs; inadequate capacity; lack of housing finance, particularly for low-income households; unclear mandate of local authorities in relation to housing delivery and involvement of traditional leaders in land delivery for housing development within urban areas; limited access to land for housing development; and development of unplanned settlements.

Goal

The goal is to increase access to decent housing and provide guidelines for infrastructure development.

5.1 Housing

Good housing contributes to economic growth and poverty reduction. It adds to the reduction of the health burden from infectious and parasitic diseases and accidents. It also provides security and is a large asset base and a source of income.

The nation has a large housing deficit. The 2008 Population and Housing Census indicates that out of 2,869,933 houses, 21.4 percent were permanent, 34.18 percent were semipermanent while 44.42 percent were classified as traditional. The Malawi Urban Housing Profile of 2009 revealed that to meet the housing demands in the urban areas, there is a need to construct 21,000 houses per year for a period of ten years. This, therefore, means that the majority of Malawians are living in houses that are not decent.

Goal

The goal is to increase access to decent housing with particular attention to low income households.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that there will be increased availability of affordable and decent houses.

Key Strategies
  • Strengthening institutional, legal and regulatory framework;

  • Strengthening capacity for decentralized housing delivery;

  • Promoting PPPs in housing delivery;

  • Scaling up the provision of basic infrastructure and services particularly in informal settlements;

  • Promoting national housing financing mechanisms;

  • Promoting planning to improve quality of rural and urban housing and settlement patterns;

  • Providing safe and adequate space to public institutions and officers; and

  • Developing and promoting the use of local building materials.

5.2 Urban Development

Malawi’s urbanization is growing at 6.3 percent per annum. The growth of urbanization in Malawi is exacerbated by high rural-urban migration and population growth. The result is increasing urban poverty whose most visible manifestations are the slums which continue to develop in and around the cities and towns in Malawi. These settlements are characterized by poor access to physical infrastructure such as roads, electricity and poor access to social services such as education, health, insecure tenure and poor housing conditions. It is therefore important that the focus should be to provide proper plans for urban areas and emerging towns.

Goal

The goal is to create a sustainable, economically and socially integrated urbanizing system.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term it is expected that there will be improved and sustainable urbanization system with a view to reduce slums.

Key Strategies

The key strategies include:

  • Providing support to processes of urban renewal and slum upgrading;

  • Supporting the development of utilities, mechanisms and structures in local authorities and urbanizing systems for the provision of critical urban infrastructure;

  • Enforcing rules and regulations on land use and physical plans;

  • Promoting PPPs in the development of urban infrastructure; and

  • Improving infrastructure facilities in slum areas and restrict the formation of new slums.

Theme 5: Governance

Malawi Government recognizes that the successful implementation of its development strategy depends on the prevalence of good governance. Good governance implies the provision of an efficient regulatory regime that ensures the absence of corruption; promulgation of consistent policies to eradicate poverty and the provision of appropriate institutions to support human existence. Good governance keeps in check distortionary incentives and ensures equitable allocation and distribution of public resources. It enhances public security and safety, and guarantees property and personal rights, which in turn creates a conducive environment for private sector investment. In this respect, Government has put in place mechanisms to manage societal affairs in accordance with democratic principles.

In the last five years, progress was made in improving governance as manifested by ongoing legal and economic policy reforms, coupled with the establishment and strengthening of key institutions of governance.

In line with the Malawi constitution which guarantees human rights, including the right to economic activity, the strategy will, among other things, continue to address issues related to access to economic opportunity, private sector participation, efficient stewardship of public resources, promotion of democratic governance institutions and justice and the rule of law.

There are four sub-themes under governance, namely economic governance, corporate governance, democratic governance and public sector management.

Government realizes that corruption is cross cutting in nature and affects all elements of governance and that it retards growth and development activities, increases the gap between the rich and the poor, and discourages investments. In this respect, it will continue pursuing strategies aimed at promoting integrity, transparency and accountability with the ultimate goal of curbing corruption and fraud at all levels.

In the past five years, Malawi registered a number of achievements including a rise in Malawi’s corruption perception index, reduced average time taken to complete and prosecute corruption cases and increased public awareness. According to a report from the Transparency International, corruption in Malawi is on the decline.

To sustain these achievements and to further curb corruption and fraud Government will implement the following strategies: mainstreaming anti-corruption strategies in all institutions; promoting prevention of corruption; enhancing investigation of all suspected corrupt practices; promoting prosecution of all offenders; fostering public support in the fight against corruption; promoting IEC on corruption; strengthening capacity and partnerships for all institutions dealing with corruption; implementing National Anti Corruption Strategy and Promoting independence of all institutions dealing with corruption.

Sub-Theme 1: Economic Governance

A stable macroeconomic environment is vital for economic growth and is a catalyst for investment and industrial development. In the past five years, Malawi experienced a stable macroeconomic environment characterized by a high GDP growth rate, low inflation rate, a stable exchange rate, and sustainable levels of both domestic and foreign debt. This is partly attributed to the Public Finance and Economic Management (PFEM) reforms that were undertaken to ensure financial prudence. However, the economy is still facing a number of challenges including high interest rate, limited coverage of banking services and low access to credit especially in the rural areas.

MGDS II will endeavour to sustain and accelerate the positive economic growth and continue with a stable macroeconomic environment as well as continue to support reforms under PFEM programmes.

Goal

The goal is to sustain and accelerate the positive economic growth within a stable macroeconomic environment.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that there will be:

  • Strengthened evidence-based planning and macroeconomic policy formulation;

  • Improved resource mobilization, allocation, and use of public resources;

  • Strengthened aid management systems; and

  • Improved access to financial services.

Key Strategies

The key strategies include:

  • Harmonizing the national budget and priorities in the national development strategy;

  • Diversifying sources of government revenue;

  • Improving revenue collection and administration system at both national and local government levels;

  • Pursuing sound macroeconomic policies;

  • Ensuring that external support is aligned to the national development strategy;

  • Ensuring that sectoral and local plans are aligned to the national development strategy;

  • Improving management of financial and non financial assets;

  • Expanding and improving financial services to MSMEs;

  • Strengthening monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of national development strategies and programmes;

  • Enhancing evidence based public policy formulation;

  • Improving national procurement, audit and reporting systems at all levels;

  • Enhancing international cooperation and development diplomacy;

  • Developing capacity for negotiating bilateral and multilateral agreements; and

  • Improving legal and regulatory framework of the financial sector.

Sub-Theme 2: Corporate Governance

Good corporate governance is an important element in the creation of an enabling environment for rapid and sustainable private sector development. Strengthening good corporate governance and implementation of the code of best practices is expected to enhance private sector performance through reduced corruption and fraud within the public and private sector and improve investors’ perception of Malawi. This in turn will lead to increased levels of domestic and foreign direct investment.

Goal

The goal is to ensure well regulated, transparent, accountable and efficient business systems.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes include:

  • Improved and effective regulatory framework for the corporate world;

  • Improved investors’ perception of the country;

  • Improved efficiency in service delivery;

  • Reduced corruption and fraud; and

  • Increased corporate social responsibility.

Key Strategies

The key strategies include:

  • Improving and strengthening business regulatory framework and developing a clear regulatory regime for parastatals;

  • Promoting the adoption of good corporate governance code of conduct;

  • Strengthening the Institute of Directors; and

  • Promoting zero tolerance to corruption.

Sub-Theme 3: Democratic Governance

Malawi Government recognizes that broad based growth and improvement in the quality of life and social wellbeing can take place if good democratic governance prevails at all levels. Good governance can therefore foster economic growth and aid the attainment of the

National and Millennium Development Goals. Equally important in the attainment of national development goals is good local governance. Local governance entails creation of a democratic environment and institutions at district and community levels, promotion of accountability, encouraging local participation in decision making and mobilizing masses for socio-economic development in their respective areas. Decentralization is one of the implementing tools for local governance.

In the past five years, democratic governance has improved in Malawi. The country experienced positive developments that included successful presidential and parliamentary elections, growing civil society and non-governmental organizations, and deepening constitutionalism.

5.3.1 Justice and Rule of Law

Malawi Government recognizes that adherence to a strong justice system and rule of law is an important factor that guarantees an enabling legal and regulatory framework and encourages the achievement of sustainable economic growth and development. The Malawi constitution also reaffirms Malawi’s commitment to the rule of law. To enhance this, the Government of Malawi established oversight institutions to promote transparency, accountability and integrity.

In the past five years, a number of positive developments were registered. These included legal and policy reforms, and the strengthening of some of the key institutions of governance that resulted in an increased access to legal system.

Despite the above achievements, a number of challenges remain. These include low institutional capacity, inadequate infrastructure, poor protection of vulnerable groups like women and children, high costs of legal services and shortage of legal experts. In addition, the vulnerable and marginalized are not fully empowered to seek and demand their rights.

Goal

The goal is to ensure access to justice and entrenched rule of law.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term it is expected that there will be:

  • Improved and effective judicial system; and

  • Enhanced transparency, accountability and efficiency of oversight institutions.

Key Strategies

The key strategies include:

  • Fostering independence and credibility of the judicial system;

  • Promoting supremacy and respect for the constitution;

  • Strengthening capacity of sector institutions;

  • Promoting law reforms to consolidate democracy and human rights;

  • Increasing citizen awareness of the country’s laws, procedures and institutions;

  • Enhancing consistency of domestic laws with international standards;

  • Promoting a justice and legal system that is responsive to marginalized groups; and

  • Promoting a people-centred, accessible, affordable, and expeditious justice system.

5.3.2 Human Rights

The Malawi Government recognizes that good governance hinges on the respect for human rights. The observance of human rights allows for equity in terms of participation in the development process and a fair distribution of development gains by all.

In the past five years a number of achievements were made including the development of a legislative framework for protection of the human rights, and increased awareness of basic human rights.

However, there are a number of challenges facing the subsector. These include limited coverage of human rights messages especially to the most vulnerable, low capacity of government institutions that deal with human rights, poor conditions in the country’s prisons and a rise in domestic violence and rape.

Goal

The goal is to promote and protect human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the constitution of Malawi.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term it is expected that there will be:

  • Enhanced awareness and practice of human rights and responsibilities;

  • Improved respect for human dignity and choice; and

  • Enhanced equitable access to opportunities.

Key Strategies
  • Enhancing human rights awareness and education;

  • Promoting equitable access to economic, political and social opportunities;

  • Strengthening legal protection and equitable treatment for marginalized populations, women and children;

  • Ensuring respect for prisoners’ rights;

  • Eliminating all forms of discrimination; and

  • Strengthening capacity of human rights institutions.

5.3.3 Elections

The Malawi Government recognizes the importance of free and fair elections to allow the people to freely choose public office holders. In the recent past, Malawi has progressed in ensuring free and fair elections, especially for the president and parliamentarians. The successful 2009 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections was a manifestation of maturing democracy in the country. However, inadequate public awareness of the electoral processes and logistical problems remain some of the main challenges.

Goal

The goal is to promote free and fair elections.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term it is expected that there will be:

  • Transparent and democratic electoral processes; and

  • Political parties with clear ideologies and functioning internal democracy.

Key Strategies
  • Enhancing credibility, management and accountability of electoral processes;

  • Improving governance in political parties;

  • Enhancing implementation of law reforms to facilitate free and fair elections at national and local levels;

  • Enhancing independence of elections governing bodies; and

  • Fostering informed and active participation in local governance.

5.3.4 Peace and Security

Peace and security are essential preconditions which must be guarded for the nation to achieve social, economic and political prosperity. Furthermore, common experience has shown that nations in conflict always tend to lose their grip and fail to concentrate on national growth and development policies.

To this end, peace and security arrangements need to address a wide range of issues aimed at safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests. This entails ensuring efficient and effective security mechanisms for defence, public and state sectors all of which must be coordinated in a manner that reflects Government’s growth and development strategies. Consequently, there is need for adequate personnel, equipment and infrastructure to address all cross-cutting issues affecting peace and security.

Goal

The goal is to continue to make Malawi a secure and peaceful nation

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

Medium term expected outcomes include:

  • Improved methods of promoting national security and public order; and

  • Improved partnership and participation of all members of the public on issues of peace and security.

Key Strategies
  • Improving the responsiveness of all security sectors to communities’ security needs;

  • Strengthening partnership for risk management between the private and security sectors;

  • Improving the responsiveness of all security sectors;

  • Enhancing community integration and participation in promoting a secure, peaceful and crime free environment;

  • Ensuring safe and secure borders;

  • Rehabilitating and expanding security establishments; and

  • Improving infrastructure for development and expansion of security establishments.

Sub-Theme 4: Public Sector Management

Effective public sector management is necessary for the creation of a conducive environment for efficient delivery of public goods and services at central and local levels. The Malawi public sector has generally been disciplined and hard working. This is attributable to a number of factors, including an upward salary adjustment in the past five years and an improvement in conditions of service especially in some of the strategic sectors of the civil service.

The public sector, however, is faced with a number of challenges that include salary levels that do not meet basic living conditions especially for the lower grades. This, compounded by slow promotion, slow recruitment and insufficient resources and equipment leads to low morale in the civil service.

Goal

The goal is to deliver services to the public in an efficient, demand driven and effective manner.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

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

  • Enhanced public service leadership;

  • Improved performance and service delivery in the public service;

  • Harmonized and evidence based policies developed; and

  • Enhanced implementation of Public Sector Reform programmes.

Key Strategies

Key strategies include:

  • Developing and strengthening leadership capacities for effective management of the public service;

  • Ensuring an effective and functional public service commission;

  • Improving conditions of service for public service employees;

  • Enhancing evidence-based policy making;

  • Promoting participatory public policy formulation;

  • Strengthening mechanisms for coordination and utilization of resources;

  • Developing capacity to implement public sector reforms; and

  • Strengthening equal participation of women and men in leadership and management positions.

Theme 6: Gender And Capacity Development

Gender, capacity development, and research and development, HIV and AIDS, nutrition, environment, climate change, population and science and technology are critical issues that cut across and impact all sectors of the economy. This thematic area will, however, focus on gender and capacity development as the other issues are discussed in the key priority areas.

In terms of gender, there has been little success in the systematic mainstreaming in sector programs. In the area of capacity development there have been improvements, but there is still a lot that needs to be done across the public and private sectors.

Sub-Theme 1: Gender

Gender implies attributes, roles, activities, responsibilities and potentialities associated with men and women, girls and boys. In Malawi boys and girls, men and women assume culturally different identities and traits. The status is worse among females as compared to their male counterparts. For instance, a female headed household has 14 percent less consumption per capita than a male headed household mainly due to gender based differences in access and control over resources (UN Malawi, 2010).

In addition, girls and boys experience some form of GBV during their life time. For example, Burton (2005) showed that 65 percent of girls and 35 percent of boys were subjected to GBV. The experience of violence increases the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. This could probably explain the fact that HIV prevalence among women and girls is still disproportionately higher at 12.9 percent than the national average of 10.6 percent while that of their male counterparts is at 8.1 percent (DHS, 2010).

Evidence has shown that the MDGs targets that are lagging behind have very pronounced gender connotations. This could be evidence of a policy and implementation gap in gender that a number of consecutive National Plans of Action have not been able to address effectively (UN Malawi, 2010).

Most sector plans are not clear on strategies to address gender disparities although this is recognized as being critical. Lack of gender disaggregated data, poor commitment to resource allocation towards gender mainstreaming and institutional capacity to analyze and systematically mainstream gender in all sectors remain the major challenges. In addition, other challenges include high incidences of HIV and AIDS prevalence and poverty among women and girls, increased GBV including intimate partner violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and harmful traditional and cultural practices.

Despite these challenges, a number of achievements were made during implementation of the MGDS which this development strategy will sustain and improve upon. The achievements include: increase in the proportion of women in the National Assembly from 14 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2009, increased number of women in decision making position in public service, establishment of victim support units, and achievement of gender parity at primary school.

Goal

To reduce gender inequalities and enhance participation of all gender groups in socioeconomic development.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

Expected medium outcomes include:

  • Increased meaningful participation of all gender groups in decision making; wealth creation and poverty reduction;

  • Reduced gender based violence at all levels; and

  • Enhanced gender mainstreaming across all sectors.

Key Strategies

The main strategies include:

  • Promoting women entrepreneurship and involvement in cooperatives;

  • Promoting equal access to appropriate technologies and micro-finance schemes;

  • Advocating for affirmative action to increase representation of women in politics and decision making positions;

  • Enhancing awareness on GBV;

  • Strengthening GBV service delivery systems;

  • Strengthening legal and regulatory framework;

  • Mainstreaming gender at all levels;

  • Promoting access to quality education for girls; and

  • Strengthening gender disaggregated research and documentation.

Sub-Theme 2: Capacity Development

For any country to develop it requires skilled and knowledgeable work force with the appropriate supporting infrastructure and equipment, and proper institutional arrangement. Government recognizes the need to develop capacity at all levels for a successful implementation of its development programmes. This entails change of mind set, orientation of skills, work processes re-engineering, improvement of institutional set up and provision of appropriate supporting equipment.

Initiatives implemented in the public sector have had a number of positive results. These include an increased number of trained personnel in key sectors including health and education, institutional development of ministries and departments, establishment of Leadership Development Framework and implementation of the Public Sector Reform Program.

Despite these achievements, there has been lack of an enabling policy framework to coordinate various capacity development initiatives. There are also concerns that the country’s local institutions of higher learning do not adequately support the needs of the economy. Furthermore, there is inadequate investment in supporting infrastructure and equipment by both the public and private sectors.

Government will therefore reorient and expand existing investment in infrastructure and equipment through, among other initiatives, PPPs. It will also provide a conducive environment for the development of skills and knowledge to respond to the needs of the economy.

Goal

The goal is to develop a productive and efficient workforce with necessary supporting equipment and infrastructure.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The sector’s overall medium term expected outcomes include the following:

  • Enhanced workforce capacities and supportive systems;

  • Improved functioning of local training institutions; and

  • Improved administration, management and performance across all sectors.

Key Strategies

The key strategies include:

  • Developing and strengthening human and institutional capacities;

  • Mainstreaming capacity development in all sectors;

  • Promoting effective performance management systems;

  • Promoting capacity development at all levels;

  • Enhancing coordination in resource mobilization and utilization;

  • Promoting and establishing professional and skills development centres;

  • Enhancing investments in infrastructure and equipment;

  • Promoting PPPs; and

  • Strengthening academic institutions to respond to the needs of the economy.

Chapter 5 Key Priority Areas

MGDS II identifies nine Key Priority Areas (KPAs) which have been drawn from the six thematic areas discussed in the previous chapter. The (KPAs) have been isolated with the view to accelerate the development that has been achieved over the years. In this respect, 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 Key Priority Areas are: Agriculture and Food Security; Transport Infrastructure and Nsanje World Inland Port; Energy, Industrial Development, Mining and Tourism; Education, Science and Technology; Public Health, Sanitation, Malaria and HIV and AIDS Management; Integrated Rural Development; Green Belt Irrigation and Water Development; Child Development, Youth Development and Empowerment; and Climate Change, Natural Resources and Environmental Management. Table 5.1 at the end of this chapter summarizes these key priority areas.

Table 5.1:

Summary of Key Priority Areas

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5.1 Agriculture and Food Security

Agriculture is key to food security, economic growth and wealth creation. However, the sector faces a number of challenges including over-dependence on rain-fed farming, low absorption of improved technologies, poor support infrastructure, inadequate markets, weak private sector participation, low level of irrigation development, and lack of investment in mechanization.

As a key priority area, the main focus is to increase agricultural productivity and diversification for sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, the strategic link between agriculture and other sectors will be strengthened to ensure accelerated growth and development.

5.1.1 Agricultural Productivity and Diversification

The agriculture sector has been experiencing growth in productivity of maize and tobacco. However, this growth has been slow and below the expected potential. The sector therefore is still characterized by low productivity levels. The major contributing factors affecting productivity in the smallholder farming sub-sector in Malawi is low input use, over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture, inadequate access to agricultural credit, inadequate access to output and input markets, and failures in technology development and transfer. This is further exacerbated by climate change effects such as erratic rains and droughts.

The dominance of tobacco and maize in the agriculture sector has limited the potential of other crops, hence the need for the country to develop an agricultural diversification policy. The policy will intensify diversification of traditional and non traditional crops and animals for both domestic and export markets. Efforts will therefore focus on improving access to credit, land, markets and research and development among others. The diversification policy will, among other things, endeavour to move away from tobacco.

Goal

The goal is to increase agriculture productivity and diversification.

Medium - Term Expected Outcomes

The medium-term expected outcomes include:

  • Increased smallholder farmers’ output per unit area;

  • Increased agricultural diversification;

  • Increased production of high value agricultural commodities including cotton, wheat and macadamia nuts for exports;

  • Improved agricultural research, technology generation and dissemination;

  • Increased livestock and fish production; and

  • Reduced land degradation.

Key Strategies

Key strategies include:

  • Providing effective extension services;

  • Strengthening linkages of farmers to input and output markets;

  • Enhancing livestock and fisheries productivity;

  • Promoting appropriate technology development, transfer and absorption;

  • Improving access to inputs;

  • Promoting contract farming arrangements;

  • Promoting irrigation farming;

  • Promoting production of non traditional crops;

  • Improving agricultural production for both domestic and export markets;

  • Strengthening farmer institutions; and

  • Promoting soil and water conservation techniques.

5.1.2 Food Security

Maize has remained the main staple food for Malawians hence national food security has mainly been defined in terms of access to maize. The country’s self sufficiency in food has been premised on the implementation of the Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (FISP). Other food crops such as rice, cassava, sorghum, and potatoes are alternatives to maize in many parts of the country. Furthermore, these are complemented by livestock and fish products. Therefore, this strategy will have a holistic approach to food security taking into account access to a diversified range of food products.

Goal

The goal is to ensure sustained availability and accessibility of food to all Malawians at all times at affordable prices.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The medium term expected outcomes include:

  • Food self-sufficiency at household and national levels;

  • Increased and sustained food availability and accessibility; and

  • Enhanced agricultural risk management.

Key Strategies
  • Improving the functioning of agricultural markets;

  • Ensuring an effective early warning system;

  • Promoting income generating activities;

  • Increasing national food storage capacity;

  • Promoting dietary diversification;

  • Improving agricultural market systems;

  • Improving coordination and management of food aid and imports;

  • Implementing policies to reduce dependency on food aid;

  • Strengthening and scaling-up market based risk management initiatives;

  • Reducing post harvest losses;

  • Strengthening PPPs in agriculture;

  • Providing technical and regulatory services; and

  • Strengthening farmer-led extension and training services.

The agriculture sector is dominated by tobacco, tea and sugar as the major foreign exchange earners. During the implementation of this development strategy, the country will diversify by promoting wheat, cotton, and coffee and production of fruits and vegetables. In this regard, government will deploy policies to promote diversification in the agriculture sector.

5.2. Energy, Industrial Development, Mining and Tourism

Energy, industrial development, mining and tourism have the potential to contribute towards wealth creation, foreign exchange generation, and job creation thereby improving living standards and accelerating national economic growth and development. A well-developed and efficient energy system is vital for industrial, mining, tourism and integrated rural development. Increasing generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and other energy sources will lead to improved service delivery and increased output in the economy. However, the country’s energy generation and supply is inadequate to meet the current industrial, mining and tourism demands. This therefore calls for investment in the energy sector to realize full potential in the industrial, mining and tourism sectors among other areas.

Besides inadequate energy, there are a number of other constraints that negatively affect industrial development, mining and tourism. These include low compliance to standards, low investment, high transport costs and poor access to both domestic and foreign markets. Government will therefore work with the private sector to address these constraints.

5.2.1 Energy

Malawi continues to face a number of challenges in the energy sector including inadequate capacity to generate electricity which results in frequent blackouts and brownouts. This lack of reliable power is a key constraint to development in Malawi. The current installed capacity of 283 Megawatts is far much less than the estimated demand of 334 Megawatts. Unavailability of access to modern energy services contributes to low economic activity and productivity, lower quality of life and deters new investments across the country, in particular affecting key sectors of mining and manufacturing.

The country is currently experiencing shortages of liquid and gas fuels due to logistical problems. Government will, therefore, continue to emphasize on improving and expanding electricity generation, supply and distribution systems. In addition, government will improve supply of liquid and gas fuels to meet the increasing demand.

Goal

The goal is to generate and distribute sufficient amount of energy to meet national socioeconomic demands.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term it is expected that there will be:

  • Improved capacity and efficiency in energy generation, transmission and distribution; and

  • Increased availability and access to energy.

Key Strategies
  • Developing additional power stations;

  • Promoting the use of renewable sources of energy;

  • Improving management of energy generation, transmission, distribution and supply;

  • Enhancing urban and rural electrification;

  • Increasing liquid fuel stock-holding and distribution capacity;

  • Developing long-term systems of tapping and delivering liquid fuel;

  • Promoting public- private partnerships in energy generation and distribution; and

  • Improving regulatory environment.

5.2.2 Industrial Development

The development of industries is an integral part of a nation’s economic growth and development. It is key to attainment of the country’s aspiration of transforming from predominantly importing and consuming to producing and exporting. Currently, manufacturing sector contributes about 11 percent to the GDP but has high potential of contributing more. An increase in industrial activities contributes to job creation which in turn expands the market base of the economy. Malawi’s industry is facing a number of challenges such as lack of incentives, high interest rates, high transport costs, and unreliable energy supply. Consequently, there are low investments in the sub sector leading to low industrialization and exports of unprocessed products.

Considering that Malawi’s population is rural based and dependent on agriculture, special attention will be given to rural industrialization and agro-processing.

Goal

The goal is to develop and expand the industrial sector with emphasis on value addition and employment creation.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

Medium term expected outcomes include:

  • Expanded industrial base;

  • Increased employment;

  • Increased industrial output; and

  • Increased value addition.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting the use of modern environmentally friendly technologies in manufacturing;

  • Facilitating accreditation of quality assurance institutions and enhancing quality standards;

  • Enhancing backward and forward linkages in the industrial sector;

  • Undertaking industrial reforms;

  • Encouraging provision of infrastructure and support services for industrial development;

  • Promoting efficient safety management practices; and

  • Promoting value addition in existing and potential products.

5.2.2.1 Trade

• Trade plays an important role in economic growth and development. For a country like Malawi, trade is of particular significance in employment creation and poverty reduction. Trade encourages technology transfer, economies of scale and competition thereby enhancing productivity and welfare gains. Malawi is undertaking a number of trade reforms such as simplified trade regime, and one stop border posts. These reforms are aimed at improving both domestic and foreign trade.

• The country’s major trading partners include EU, COMESA, SADC and other emerging economies. Over the years, the country has been involved in a number of bilateral and multilateral negotiations and agreements with the view to promote market access and expand the number of its trading partners.

• The sub-sector faces a number of challenges such as high transportation cost, lack of market information, inadequate energy supply, narrow market base, lack of adherence to international standards and low levels of trade expertise. On the export market, the sub-sector is currently dominated by tobacco which is facing problems due to anti-smoking lobby. Within agriculture, it is therefore important for the country to diversify its export base away from tobacco. To address these challenges the country intends to pursue the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to increase supply of value-added goods and services for domestic and international markets while sustaining competitive advantage.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Enhanced production, diversification and competitiveness of tradable commodities;

  • Enhanced access to both traditional and emerging export markets;

  • Improved legal, regulatory and institutional framework; and

  • Increased domestic and international market share.

Key Strategies
  • Simplifying and streamlining trade and customs procedures;

  • Promoting trade integration;

  • Promoting consumer loyalty to domestically produced goods;

  • Improving fair trading and intellectual property rights;

  • Promoting efficient and modernized boarder infrastructure to facilitate trade;

  • Promoting adherence to standards in tradable products;

  • Promoting exports;

  • Promoting trade in services;

  • Promoting product and market diversification;

  • Strengthening investment and export promoting institutions;

  • Improving coordination amongst private sector trade institutions; and

  • Improving trade network and information for exports.

5.2.2.2 Agro-Processing

Agro-processing in Malawi has potential to contribute effectively to the country’s economic growth. However, most of Malawi’s agricultural products are mainly traded as primary commodities. This is partly due to poor and inadequate supportive infrastructure, low level of vocational skills, weak marketing and distribution systems and low investment in agro-processing.

Considering that Malawi’s economy is agro-based, government has in the past five years implemented a number of initiatives including the One Village One Product (OVOP) to add value to agricultural products. Government, therefore, will continue prioritizing industries that add value to agricultural products. Focus is on sugar, tea, cotton, wheat, coffee, honey, cassava, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, soya beans, groundnuts and chillies.

Goal

The goal is to move up the value chain in key crops, and increase agro-processed products for both domestic and export markets.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Increased value addition to agricultural products; and

  • Diversified agro-processed products.

Key Strategies
  • Improving supporting infrastructure for agro-processing;

  • Promoting investment in agro-processing with special focus on private sector participation;

  • Improving policy and regulatory frameworks impacting on agro-processing;

  • Promoting OVOP on agricultural products; and

  • Strengthening capacity for small and medium scale agro-processing enterprises.

5.2.3 Mining

Malawi has abundant mineral resources that can be exploited. These resources include bauxite, heavy mineral sands, monazite, coal, uranium, precious and semi-precious stones, limestone, niobium, dimension stones and rock aggregates. Government recognises that the development of the mining industry can significantly improve the country’s foreign exchange earnings and contribute to economic growth and development. To derive maximum potential of the mining industry, Government will pursue the following goal, expected outcomes and key strategies.

Goal

The goal is to increase production and value addition of mineral resources.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The medium-term expected outcomes include the following:

  • Updated geological information system;

  • Increased exploration and mining;

  • Increased participation by small and medium miners; and

  • Improved legal and institutional framework.

Key Strategies

The following are the key strategies for realizing the sector’s objectives:

  • Producing detailed geological map of Malawi;

  • Strengthening institutional capacity of the sector;

  • Developing an integrated data management system;

  • Strengthening seismic monitoring;

  • Promoting both local and foreign investment;

  • Enforcing environmental, occupational health and safety in the mining sector; and

  • Enforcing legislations on sustainable use and management of mineral resources.

5.2.4 Tourism

Tourism is one of the merging sectors in Malawi. It has potential to generate revenue, employment, improve infrastructure, and promote MSMEs as well as conservation of wildlife and culture. The sector has direct linkages with other sectors of the economy.

To improve tourism, Government has undertaken a number of development projects that have transformed the tourism landscape. These include construction of access roads to tourist sites, improvement of airports and airstrips and construction of Mpale Cultural Village. In addition, Government has constructed a 1500-seater International Conference Centre which is expected to boost the tourism potential of the country.

However, a number of challenges such as poor supporting infrastructure, poor service delivery, uncoordinated and insufficient marketing of tourism products and inadequate purpose-built cultural infrastructure impede attainment of the sector’s full potential.

To ensure a vibrant tourism industry, Government will pursue the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to develop and promote a vibrant tourism industry.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Increased contribution of the tourism industry to GDP;

  • Improved environment for doing business in tourism;

  • Increased number of tourists; and

  • Increased local participation in the tourism industry.

Key Strategies
  • Providing infrastructure that is supportive to tourism development;

  • Promoting the development of high-quality tourism facilities in designated areas including Lake Malawi;

  • Enforcing tourism industry standards and planning controls;

  • Strengthening institutional capacity at all levels;

  • Promoting eco-tourism;

  • Promoting participation of local investors in the tourism industry; and

  • Enhancing marketing of Malawi’s tourism products.

5.2 Transport Infrastructure and Nsanje World Inland Port

An integrated transport system is a catalyst for development. Improved road, rail and inland water transport infrastructure is central for better domestic and international connectivity. A well developed transport infrastructure reduces lead time on imports and exports, costs of goods and services and improves access to markets and social services.

Government embarked on transport infrastructure maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrading programme during MGDS implementation. However, major focus was on road infrastructure as a result, other modes of transport infrastructure remain underdeveloped in the country. Government, therefore, will develop the other modes of transport along side road infrastructure. In this respect, Government will focus its attention on rail and water transport infrastructure while continuing with the improvement of road infrastructure. This is expected to reduce transportation costs and facilitate export-led growth.

5.3.1 Road Infrastructure

Road transport is the dominant mode of transport in Malawi. In this respect, the country has over the years been constructing, rehabilitating, and upgrading road infrastructure. However, most feeder roads still remain in poor condition especially in rural areas. This has been compounded by the enormous backlog road maintenance that has led to high transportation costs in most parts of the country.

Goal

The goal is to ensure provision of a safe, affordable, accessible and high quality road transport system.

Expected-Medium Term Outcomes

In the medium-term improved road transportation is expected to contribute to:

  • Reduced lead times and cost on exports and imports; and

  • Improved domestic and cross border mobility and connectivity.

Key Strategies
  • Ensuring comprehensive and coordinating planning of road and other modes of transport;

  • Providing adequate network of roads based on appropriate standards;

  • Enhancing routine road maintenance and upgrading;

  • Building technical and institutional capacity at all levels;

  • Promoting competition in the construction industry;

  • Improving management of road network throughout the country;

  • Enhancing axle load control;

  • Promoting high road safety standards and traffic management; and

  • Enhancing PPPs in the transport system.

5.3.2 Rail Transport

Malawi recognizes that an efficient rail transport is relatively cheaper than road and air transport. Rail transport has potential to significantly reduce transport costs of goods and services because of its predominance in the transportation of bulk freight over long distances.

The railway infrastructure in the country is in poor condition due to lack of maintenance and inadequate investment. A study6 commissioned to ascertain the investment required to revamp the rail transport sub sector revealed that there is need for an urgent financial injection into this sub-sector for emergency works before overhaul rehabilitation works can commerce. The poor state of the infrastructure has greatly compromised railway safety and efficiency. The sub-sector is greatly uncompetitive despite the fact that the rail freight cost is cheaper than road and air transport.

Goal

The goal is to develop an efficient and effective rail network.

Medium-Term Expected-Outcomes
  • Improved regional and international connectivity;

  • Improved regulatory and institutional framework; and

  • Improved rail infrastructure and reliability.

Key Strategies
  • Rehabilitating and expanding the railway line and related infrastructure;

  • Creating linkages to ports, industrial sites and regional and international markets;

  • Promoting railway safety and environmental protection; and

  • Improving operational efficiency and commercial viability of the existing railway infrastructure and levels of service.

5.3.3 Inland Water Transport Infrastructure

Water transport is relatively cheaper than any other mode of transport. It provides a better and cheaper alternative for transporting bulky and heavy goods domestically and internationally. Malawi has an advantage in water transport as it is endowed with lakes and navigable rivers. However, the country’s water transport system is not fully developed and faces a number of challenges including dilapidated port infrastructure; ageing fleet of vessels; and capacity problems. Given the current transport constraints, this mode of transport has been prioritized to compliment other transport modes. Focus will be on the development of Nsanje world inland port and Shire-Zambezi Waterway, construction and rehabilitation of ports along Lake Malawi and acquisition of vessels.

Goal

The goal is to promote inland water transport system and improve access to the sea.

Medium-Term Expected-Outcomes

The medium term expected outcomes are:

  • Improved inland water transportation system;

  • Improved interface with rail; and road transport; and

  • Reduced transport costs.

Key Strategies
  • Developing an efficient and productive maritime transport system;

  • Improving port infrastructure;

  • Opening up navigable rivers;

  • Promoting affordable and safe water transport system; and

  • Promoting Public Private Partnerships in the industry.

5.3.3.1 Nsanje World Inland Port

During MGDS implementation, the country completed the initial phase of the Nsanje World Inland Port which included construction of port berth and formal demarcation of land for development. When fully developed, the Port will integrate the four modes of transportation of road, rail, air and water into a multimodal transport system that will connect Malawi to other regional sea ports. The second phase will include construction and provision of related infrastructure and services which will eventually turn Nsanje District into a city. The port will have additional infrastructure such as an international airport that will connect the Shire Zambezi waterway to other domestic and regional airports. It will also have improved road and railway networks which will link the port to other markets and cities domestically and regionally.

The goal is to open up the country to ports along the Indian Ocean and reduce costs of goods. The medium term expected outcomes will include reduced transport costs; reduced lead times on exports; and decreased cost of shipping, low costs of cross-border and transit trade, and lower cost to reach domestic, regional and international markets.

Key activities will include dredging, acquiring vessels; constructing an international airport; maintaining and rehabilitating the railway network from Nsanje to other parts of the country; rehabilitating and constructing the road network to and from Nsanje; establishing port regulation and regulatory system; and developing social infrastructures such as schools, hospitals and markets.

5.4 Education, Science and Technology

Education, science and technology are some of the major catalysts for socio-economic development. An educated and highly skilled population will help in accelerating economic growth and development. In addition, further developments in all sectors of the economy will require highly skilled and educated workforce and application of science and technologies. Government will continue to undertake reforms and strengthen education system, science, technology and innovation to enhance their contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.

5.4.1 Education

The Government recognizes the role of an educated population as a necessity for sustainable development. It is through the provision of education that people acquire relevant knowledge, skills, expertise and competencies to actively participate in socio-economic activities.

The education system in Malawi comprises three broad categories namely basic education; secondary education; and tertiary and vocational education. Basic education includes Early Childhood Development (ECD) mainly implemented in Gender and Child Development and Community Development Ministry, Primary and Out-of-School Youth and Adult Literacy. Tertiary and vocational education encompasses Teacher Education, Higher Education, and Technical and Vocational Training. Government through this strategy will continue improving quality, equity, relevance, access and efficiency in education.

In basic education, the aim will be to develop the child’s full cognitive, emotional and physical potential through increased retention and completion rates. In complementing this, enrolment in secondary education will be increased, while focussing on upgrading quality, and on retention of girls. The main aim will be to provide the student with an enriched academic basis for gainful employment in the informal, private and public sectors.

Tertiary and vocational education will play a vital role in complementing basic and secondary school education. The main focus at this level will be to produce high quality professionals with relevant knowledge and skills that meet demands of the economy. Access to higher education, technical and vocational training, teacher, and university education will be increased, and universities/colleges will be expanded and rehabilitated, among other initiatives.

The education sector has embarked on a Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) to accelerate the achievement of sector outcomes. This approach aims at pulling together all stakeholders within the sector to work towards achieving similar goals and objectives. To enhance quality, equity, relevance, access, and efficiency of education at all levels, Government will pursue the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to improve access to quality and relevant education.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Expanded equitable access to education;

  • Improved quality and relevance of education; and

  • Improved management and governance of the education system.

Key Strategies
  • Accelerating rehabilitation of existing learning institutions and construction of additional education infrastructure at all levels;

  • Establishing new universities and colleges;

  • Training and recruiting additional teaching staff;

  • Scaling up school meals program;

  • Introducing standardized testing to measure and monitor quality of learning and teaching;

  • Reviewing and reforming school and college curricula to address national needs at all levels;

  • Providing adequate and relevant teaching and learning materials;

  • Strengthening the provision of technical and vocational training;

  • Providing a conducive environment for girls education including boarding facilities;

  • Providing a conducive environment for students with special education needs;

  • Promoting systematic and regular inspection of all learning institutions;

  • Decentralizing the management and financing of the education system;

  • Scaling up school health and nutrition, and HIV and AIDS programmes;

  • Strengthening coordination and provision of ECD and CBE;

  • Promoting the role of private sector and private financing in education system;

  • Promoting Public Private Partnerships in the provision of education infrastructure and services;

  • Strengthening education management and information systems;

  • Scaling up child friendly schools programmes; and

  • Increasing number of girls opting for mathematics and science subjects at all levels.

5.4.2 Science and Technology

Science and technology is vital for national socio-economic development. Technology is generated through continuous research, hence a well-coordinated research and development is a basis for increasing the stock of knowledge to devise and apply new technologies. In addition, increased application of technology and innovation is the main route for the creation of additional wealth through increased productivity. Government recognizes the importance of this sub-sector and will continue implementing reforms aimed at enhancing contribution of research, science and technology to economic development.

During implementation of MGDS, Government carried out a number of reforms aimed at improving research and development and application of science and technology in the country. These reforms include establishment of the National Commission for Science and Technology as an apex body in all matters of research, science and technology; introduction of science and technology as a subject at primary school level; review of the National Science, Technology and Innovation policy; and the development of the National Intellectual Property Policy.

However, the country continues to face a number of challenges and these include weak scientific and technological development and utilization; weak institutional capacity; weak linkages between research, science and technology institutions and users; limited number of institutions undertaking research and development; inadequate research and development infrastructure; lack of commercialization of results and information systems; and poor utilization of research results.

To address these challenges, Government will therefore seek to create a conducive environment for research, science and technology development by pursuing the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to enhance the contribution of research, science and technology to national productivity and competitiveness.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Well coordinated science and technology generation and dissemination;

  • Improved operation of research and development institutions; and

  • Increased adoption of appropriate technologies.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting adoption, transfer and utilization of appropriate technologies;

  • Promoting prioritized, focused and multi-disciplinary research and development;

  • Mainstreaming research, science and technology development across all sectors;

  • Enhancing linkages between research, science and technology institutions and users;

  • Strengthening institutional and regulatory framework including protection of intellectual property rights;

  • Strengthening capacity for research, science and technology institutions;

  • Promoting IEC on research, science and technology development;

  • Promoting PPPs in generating and disseminating appropriate technology; and

  • Improving scientific and technological infrastructure for research and development and innovation.

5.5 Public Health, Sanitation, Malaria and HIV and AIDS Management

Malawi Government recognizes that a healthy population is necessary to achieve sustainable economic growth and development. In 2004, the Government established a plan of action covering the period between 2004 and 2010, which was implemented using the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp).

In the MGDS II, Government will introduce and implement the Malawi Health Sector Strategic Plan (MHSSP) which will focus attention on the provision of quality health services using cost effective strategies to reduce mortality and morbidity. Special focus will be given to health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are not on course for achievement. The 2010 Malawi MDG Report indicates that the country is likely to reduce child mortality (MDG 4) and reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS, Malaria and TB (MDG 6) while targets for improving maternal health (MDG 5) are not on course. Malawi has relatively reduced maternal mortality from 984 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 675 in 2010. During the implementation of the MGDS II, efforts will be directed towards maternal health to meet the MDG target of 155 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. The disease burden due to malaria and HIV and AIDS is still high and special attention will also be directed to them.

The strategy includes most cost-effective interventions for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, mental health interventions, and provision of surgical services in rural and district hospitals.

To support this, the sector will direct its efforts in implementing programmes that target public health (including maternal and child health), sanitation, malaria, and HIV and AIDS management.

5.5.1 Public Health

Public health in Malawi mainly focuses on prevention of diseases to prolong life. It constitutes promoting good health practices and life styles through information, education and communication; controlling and preventing diseases; tackling hygiene and the broader determinants of health; and screening for diseases. Since public health interventions target communities, their delivery maximizes benefits and yield significant positive externalities in terms of individuals who do not fall sick as a result of others receiving primary and secondary prevention interventions. This reduces the burden on curative health.

Although Malawi has made progress in a number of areas in the health sector, the country continues to face a number of challenges in public health. These include high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, high incidence of malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), and relatively high maternal and child mortality rates. Other challenges include emerging public health concerns such as lifestyle related diseases,7 and Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) tuberculosis and TB/HIV co-infection.

Government will, therefore, continue to promote and support public health programmes in the country.

Goal

The goal is to control and prevent occurrence and spread of diseases.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The medium term outcomes will include:-

  • Reduced incidence and prevalence of diseases;

  • Improved maternal and child health;

  • Increased and sustained coverage of high quality EHP services;

  • Reduced health risk factors among the population;

  • Improved equity and efficiency in the delivery of EHP; and

  • Strengthened performance of health support systems.

Key Strategies

Effective delivery of quality public health service requires multi-dimensional approach including the provision, strengthening and coordination of the various health care service institutions. Main strategies will include:-

  • Increasing geographical access to EHP services;

  • Improving availability of essential drugs and medical supplies;

  • Building human resource capacity at all levels;

  • Strengthening health support system;

  • Increasing availability of health technologies for prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation;

  • Improving the quality of diagnosis and treatment of communicable and non communicable diseases;

  • Strengthening health policies, legal and regulatory framework;

  • Implementing integrated vector control management;

  • Promoting water and food safety;

  • Improving the capacity of the health sector to respond to emergencies;

  • Exploring and implementing alternative health financing mechanisms;

  • Promoting community participation in the design and implementation of health services;

  • Strengthening community health service delivery system;

  • Strengthening availability and utilization of quality integrated family planning services;

  • Improving availability and utilization of quality integrated maternal and neonatal care services;

  • Strengthening and promoting initiatives to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of emerging diseases such as cancer, and high blood pressure; and

  • Promoting health enhancing behavior and life styles.

5.5.2 Sanitation

Sanitation and good hygiene practices contribute to the reduction of water borne and other related diseases. A clean and healthy environment is not only essential, but also a prerequisite for a healthy and productive society. Compared to many other sub-Saharan countries, Malawi has made tremendous progress in achieving universal access to basic sanitation. Overall access to improved latrine is estimated at 46 percent; with 43 percent in rural areas and 65 percent in urban areas.

During the implementation of MGDS, the country made progress in the area of sanitation and hygiene. These include improved access to potable water from 73 percent in 2005 to 84 percent in 2009 and improved access to basic sanitation from 84 percent in 2005 to 93 percent in 2009 (WMS, 2009).

Malawi still faces a number of challenges in the area of sanitation and hygiene. These include relatively low access to improved sanitation, low access to running water, inadequate sewer facilities, unsystematic disposal of liquid, solid and other forms of waste, inadequate capacity to manage sewer facilities and inability to separate organic and inorganic components of waste to facilitate composting.

Considering the above challenges and the role sanitation plays to improve the health of the population, Government through this strategy will pursue the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to ensure use of improved sanitation facilities and adoption of safe hygiene practices.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

In the medium term, it is expected that there will be:

  • Improved hygiene practices;

  • Increased access and usage of improved sanitation facilities; and

  • Improved management and disposal of waste.

Key Strategies

The key strategies include:

  • Promoting utilization of improved sanitation facilities;

  • Providing improved sanitation facilities in schools, health care centres, community based child care centres, markets and all other public places;

  • Promoting adoption of safe hygiene practices;

  • Improving management and disposal of both liquid and solid waste;

  • Enhancing information, education and communication on sanitation and hygiene;

  • Promoting research waste management;

  • Promoting private sector participation in the provision of sanitation and hygiene services;

  • Enhancing institutional capacity; and

  • Strengthening regulatory frameworks.

5.5.3 Malaria

Malaria is endemic and continues to be a major public health problem in Malawi. It is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in under-five children and pregnant women. It is estimated that the number of presumptive cases of malaria increased from 3.7 million in 2005 to 6.1 million in 2009. Therefore, Government has prioritized reduction of malaria cases in line with MDG8 commitment.

During the implementation of MGDS Government undertook a number of initiatives to combat malaria. These included distributions of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs), piloted indoor residual spraying and changed the primary anti-malaria treatment from Sulphadoxine- pyremethamine (SP) to Artemether-lumefantrine (LA).

Consequently, health facility in-patient death rates due to malaria have decreased from 5.6 percent to 3.4 percent in 2004 and 2009, respectively. ITNs ownership improved from 38 percent in 2006 to 60 percent in 2010. In addition, it is estimated that in 2010, 56 percent of children under five years of age sleep under an ITN up from the 25 percent in 2006.

Realizing that Malaria is still a challenge in Malawi, Government will pursue the following goal, medium term expected outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to reduce malaria-related morbidity and mortality.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes
  • Reduced incidence of malaria;

  • Increased coverage of malaria prevention; and

  • Increased access to appropriate malaria treatment.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting directly observed treatment;

  • Developing capacity of community health workers in malaria case management;

  • Scaling up distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs);

  • Promoting draining of mosquito breeding sites and larviciding;

  • Scaling up the delivery of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) services to other high malaria transmission districts; and

  • Increasing the number of health facilities providing parasitological diagnosis of malaria.

5.5.4 HIV/AIDS Management

Malawi has been negatively affected by the spread of HIV and AIDS pandemic. The pandemic has increased the incidence of other opportunistic diseases such as Tuberculosis and cancer. HIV and AIDS and the resulting opportunistic diseases have affected the quality of human capital, and have increased the burden on health service delivery system.

There is a strong correlation between HIV and AIDS and nutrition status of individuals. Good nutrition is crucial for building and maintaining the immune system to enable it fight infections. In the absence of good nutrition, the body’s immune system is weak and vulnerable to attack by various infections which affect ones quality of life. One such infection is HIV and AIDS. When the body is malnourished, an individual’s immune system is compromised. In addition, Anti-retroviral drug’s effectiveness in undernourished HIV and AIDS patient is decreased and toxicity increased. Malnutrition also accelerates the onset of AIDS and gives rise to other related illnesses. The HIV and AIDS pandemic has worsened the dual burden of malnutrition and disease.

Adult HIV prevalence decreased slightly between 2004 and 2010, from 11.8 to 10.6 percent, respectively. Factors contributing to this positive development include increased awareness programmes in HIV prevention and behavioural change, increased access to a number of preventive interventions, increased access to HIV and AIDS Testing and Counselling (HTC) sites, and the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme.

Despite the successes registered, combating HIV and AIDS remains a major challenge for Malawi. For instance, the disease has rendered 12 percent of children aged 0-17 orphaned and 7 percent vulnerable, according to the 2006 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). In addition, there is still low uptake of PMTCT services among pregnant women and low uptake of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) among children and continued prevalence of cultural practices that enhance HIV transmission. In this regard, Government will implement strategies that are aimed at promoting prevention of new infections.

Goal

The goal is to prevent spread of HIV infection and mitigate the health, socio-economic and psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes include:

  • Reduced HIV infection and transmission rate;

  • Improved quality of lives of People Living with HIV (PLHIVs), OVCs and affected individuals and households; and

  • Improved dietary practices of PLHIVs, OVCs and affected individuals and households.

Key Strategies

The expected outcomes above will be achieved through implementation of the following key strategies:

  • Promoting interventions that reduce HIV transmission;

  • Promoting HIV Testing and Counselling;

  • Promoting Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV;

  • Enhancing capacity of health care delivery system to manage HIV and related illnesses;

  • Promoting access to continuum of HIV treatment and care services;

  • Promoting access to quality Community Home Based Care (CHBC), palliative care and other support services;

  • Promoting support to PLHIVs, OVCs and affected individuals and households;

  • Promoting mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS;

  • Promoting effective coordination and management of the national HIV and AIDS response;

  • Promoting food and nutrition security among HIV and AIDS affected households;

  • Promoting reintegration of eligible PLHIV into economic activities; and

  • Promoting HIV and AIDS advocacy and awareness campaigns.

5.6 Integrated Rural Development

Malawi’s population is rural-based, with the majority depending on rain-fed agriculture and lacking access to basic amenities such as roads, health facilities, schools, markets, power supply, and water and communication infrastructure. Thus improving access to basic amenities is critical to improving living standards of rural communities and national development. Considering the need to improve the livelihoods of the rural communities, government will use an IRD approach. In this regard, initiatives like One Village One Product (OVOP), Malawi Rural Development Fund (MARDEF), Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF) and Local Development Fund (LDF) will play a crucial role in improving rural livelihoods.

IRD aims at resuscitating rural economies and transforming them into potential drivers of economic growth and development. Furthermore, it sets a platform for empowering rural people to exploit socio-economic opportunities and tackle challenges for securing their livelihoods. Poverty in Malawi is pervasive in rural areas with the latest Welfare Monitoring Survey putting the national poverty incidence at 39 percent in 2009. The persistence of rural poverty has moved government to a new consensus on addressing poverty reduction with the aim of leading rural areas to more efficient ways of tapping into development potential to improve their livelihood.

Efforts made to assist the poorest citizens of the country include community development programmes, FISP and a nationwide public works programme for ‘cash transfer safety net activities’. Development projects included the construction of school buildings; teacher’s houses and clinics; water supply schemes; subsidy programmes and the improvement of other rural social infrastructure. However, these programmes alone cannot achieve sustainable improvements in the livelihoods of the poor, nor generate sustainable long term economic growth due to lack of coordination, harmonization, resources and weak financial management systems.

Government, therefore, through this strategy will pursue the following goal, expected outcomes, and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to improve rural livelihoods.

Medium Term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved local governance systems and structures;

  • Well coordinated local development planning;

  • Improved investment in rural areas;

  • Increased rural incomes;

  • Strengthened rural participation in development programmes; and

  • Reduced rural-urban migration.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting income generating programmes;

  • Improving access to basic amenities;

  • Ensuring equal access to socio-economic opportunities;

  • Strengthening local institutional capacity;

  • Strengthening capacity of rural households to exploit income generating opportunities;

  • Promoting local economic development;

  • Promoting conducive environment for private sector investment;

  • Promoting the establishment of rural growth centres and satellite model villages; and

  • Promoting rural electrification programme.

5.7 Green Belt Irrigation and Water Development

Malawi depends on rain-fed agriculture to achieve food security, increased incomes and sustainable economic growth. Over-dependence on rain fed agriculture has led to low agricultural production and productivity due to weather shocks and natural disasters. Conversely, Malawi is endowed with vast water resources covering about 30 percent of the country. A well developed water system is therefore critical for irrigation intensification, potable water accessibility and sanitation. Government, through this strategy, will therefore prioritise Green Belt Irrigation (GBI) and water development.

5.7.1 Green Belt Irrigation

Green Belt Irrigation has the potential to increase agricultural production and productivity through intensified farming. Green Belt Irrigation will utilize the available abundant water resources in the country and increase area under irrigation from 90, 000 hectares to 400,000 hectares out of the potential 1,000,000 hectares. This will improve food security and rural livelihoods; promote agricultural diversification and value addition; reduce rural-urban migration; and contribute to sustainable economic growth and development. Government through this strategy has prioritized Green Belt Irrigation by pursuing the following goal, expected outcomes, and key strategies.

Goal

The goal is to increase agricultural production and productivity through intensification of irrigation.

Expected-Medium Term Outcome

The expected medium term outcomes include:

  • Increased land under irrigation;

  • Reduced dependence on rain-fed agriculture;

  • Increased agricultural production and productivity; and

  • Increased household income levels.

Key Strategies

The following are the key strategies to be pursued:

  • Promoting development of areas with irrigation potential;

  • Promoting rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure;

  • Promoting research and use of appropriate technologies in irrigation;

  • Enhancing IEC on irrigation;

  • Enhancing technical and administrative capacities in irrigated agriculture; and

  • Promoting the establishment of a well coordinated marketing system for products from irrigation farming.

5.7.2 Water Development

Water is an important resource for life, agriculture and industrial development. Recent economic developments and population growth in Malawi have increased the demand for water in both rural and urban areas. Government has, therefore, put high priority on water resources management and development.

In recent years, access to potable water has improved throughout the country. Statistics show that total water supply coverage has increased from 58 percent in 2004 to 76 percent in 2009.

In 2008 water supply coverage in rural areas of Malawi was at 64 percent from 58 percent in 2004. Despite these achievements, there are considerable challenges facing the country in the water sector. These include relatively low access to potable water, aging infrastructure, inadequate maintenance capacity, theft and vandalism resulting in more than 30 percent non-functionality of the infrastructure.

In this respect, Government will continue developing the water sector. Focus will include construction of dams, establishment of piped water systems and drilling of boreholes where gravity fed systems cannot work.

Goal

The goal is to improve access to water through an integrated water management system.

Expected-Medium Term Outcome
  • Well developed and managed water resources; and

  • Increased access to safe water points within 500m distance.

Key Strategies
  • Promoting development of potential multi-purpose dam sites and groundwater resources;

  • Improving existing water infrastructure;

  • Enhancing water resources monitoring, preservation, development and management;

  • Promoting user friendly technologies for water resources conservation and utilization;

  • Promoting the empowerment of local communities in water resources development and management;

  • Strengthening research in water resources development and management;

  • Increasing number of people connected to piped water supply systems in both urban and rural areas;

  • Strengthening institutionalization of practical operations and maintenance framework at all levels;

  • Strengthening and institutionalizing monitoring and evaluation system for water services;

  • Enhancing information, education and communication;

  • Promoting private sector participation in the provision of water services;

  • Promoting equitable distribution of water points to rural areas through GPS mapping; and

  • Enhancing institutional capacity at all levels.

5.8 Child Development, Youth Development and Empowerment

About 54 per cent of the total population in Malawi is younger than 18 years (PHC, 2008). With such a young population, dependence ratio in the country is high. This places heavy economic burden on the working population and puts pressure on the provision of basic needs and social services. The country’s young population is characterized by high incidences of poverty, violence, HIV and AIDS, malnutrition, abuse, poor health, high illiteracy rates and psychological disorders.

In order to protect and harness potential of young people, Government has included Child Development and Youth Development and Empowerment as a priority in this development strategy. Focus will be on the following social support; early childhood development; child protection; child survival and development; child and youth participation; economic empowerment; youth health; HIV prevention among youth and adolescents; institutional capacity development and infrastructure development.

5.8.1 Child Development

In Malawi, children aged 0 to 9 years constitute the majority of the total population. According to the 2008 Population and Housing Census, approximately 4.3 million persons of the total population of 13.1 million were children. Children are directly affected by problems stemming from poverty. This is manifested through child labour, high illiteracy rates, poor health, high incidence of malnutrition, high levels of child abuse and neglect.

To address these challenges, Government will establish a National Plan of Action for children and will pursue the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The Goal is to ensure that children grow into productive and responsible citizens.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that Malawi will have attained:

  • Improved equitable access to quality child development services;

  • Reduced number of children living below the poverty line; and

  • Strengthened national child protection systems to reduce children’s vulnerability to violence, abuse, and exploitation.

Key Strategies

In responding to the challenges being faced, government will implement the following strategies:

  • Protecting children against abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence;

  • Eliminating harmful cultural practices;

  • Promoting access to education, nutrition, health, counselling and HIV prevention services;

  • Reducing the adverse effects of poverty on children;

  • Promoting early childhood development and pre-primary education;

  • Establishing a legal and institutional framework for the promotion of early childhood development services;

  • Promoting the integration of child issues in sectoral policies and strategies;

  • Strengthening inter-sectoral coordination and capacity of all stakeholders;

  • Strengthening support to children infected and/or affected by HIV and AIDS;

  • Strengthening advocacy and awareness on child issues;

  • Establishing a system for timely birth registration for children;

  • Promoting exclusive breastfeeding practices for children aged 0-6 months;

  • Promoting optimal feeding practices for children aged 6-24 months and beyond; and

  • Promoting alternative care systems for vulnerable children.

5.8.2 Youth Development and Empowerment

The youth constitute a significant proportion of Malawi’s population. The 2008 Population and Housing Census reports that 40 percent of the population is young aged 10 to 29 years. With time, the youth population has been growing and this has implications on the socioeconomic development of the country. Investments in the current generation of young people will among other things improve productivity, reduce health costs and enhance social capital. The youth constitute a growing labour force of the country; failure to respond to their needs further aggravates poverty levels. Therefore Government, through this strategy, will pursue the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to enhance effective youth participation in economic activities.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes

In the medium term, it is expected that Malawi will have attained:

  • Increased absorption of skills, technology and innovations by the youth;

  • Increased youth participation in decision making processes; and

  • Improved coordination of youth programs.

Key Strategies

The expected outcomes above will be achieved through implementation of the following key strategies:

  • Improving youth’s technical, vocational, entrepreneurial and life skills;

  • Improving youth’s access to credit facilities for entrepreneurship;

  • Promoting youth participation in the decision making processes; Constructing and rehabilitating sports infrastructure;

  • Building and strengthening the capacity of institutions that are responsible for coordination and delivery of youth development and sports services;

  • Strengthening and establishing youth development centres; and

  • Improving access to Youth Friendly SRH, HIV and AIDS services; and

  • Eliminating GBV, harmful cultural practices, abuse and trafficking.

5.9 Climate Change, Natural Resources and Environmental Management

Natural resources form a principal source of social well being and economic development in Malawi. However, these resources are under constant stress from unprecedented human, industrial and other developmental activities which if not curbed might generate serious longterm impacts. The Malawi UNCA Report (2010) estimates that unsustainable natural resource use cost Malawi about US$ 191 million, or 5.3 percent of GDP in 2010. These activities have resulted into a reduction in the proportion of land under forest cover from 41 percent in 1990 to 34.5 percent in 2010 (MDGs Annual Report, 2010). This is compounded by increased climate variations experienced in the form of prolonged dry spells, droughts, intense rainfall, floods and temperature variability. This has in turn negatively affected the performance of sectors such as agriculture, natural resources, forestry, water and irrigation, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, transport, tourism, and trade, among others.

During the implementation of the MGDS, various achievements were realized including enhanced early warning and improved weather information systems; increased land area under industrial plantations from 1,609 ha in 2005 to 5,784 ha in 2010; reduction in tonnage of ozone depleting substances such as CFC from 5.9 tonnes in 2005 to almost zero in 2009 and increased public awareness on environment and natural resources management.

Despite the achievements highlighted above, a number of challenges still exist which include: accelerated deforestation and poor land use and management practices; depletion and degradation of land and water based resources; weak information management systems; weak regulation enforcement mechanism; and inadequate mainstreaming of climate change issues in government policies and programs. The focus will be in the areas of climate change, natural resources and environment.

5.9.1 Climate Change Management

Malawi experiences a number of adverse climatic hazards such as prolonged dry spells, droughts, unpredictable rainfall patterns, floods and increased temperatures. Recently, these have increased in frequency, intensity and magnitude. This is partly attributed to effects of climate change and in all likelihood will worsen in the future.

Climate change effects also result in loss of human and animal life; compromised water quality leading to diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and malaria and infrastructure loss. In addition, effects of climate change have adverse impacts on agriculture, fisheries, wildlife, gender, energy, education, health, and forestry sectors. Numerous reports on Climate change indicate that disasters related to climate change have escalated with time. Between 1970 and 2006, Malawi experienced over 40 weather related disasters most of which occurred in the late 1990s. It is estimated that the 1992 drought reduced the country’s maize production by 60 percent of its normal year production bringing about a 10 percent reduction in the country’s GDP (NAPA, 2006). It is therefore, necessary for the country to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in all sectors for improved resilience and sustainable development.

Malawi, just like many developing countries, is vulnerable to effects of climate change. In recognition of this, Government has accorded special attention to climate change in this national development strategy. On its path towards climate resilient growth, Malawi, therefore aims at pursuing the following goal, outcomes and strategies.

Goal

The goal is to enhance resilience to climate change risks and impacts.

Medium-Term Expected Outcome

The medium term expected outcome is improved climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Key Strategies
  • Improving weather and climate monitoring, prediction systems, and information and knowledge management systems;

  • Promoting dissemination of climate change information for early warning, preparedness and response;

  • Developing and harmonizing climate change related strategies, policies and legislation;

  • Mainstreaming climate change issues in sectoral policies, plans and programmes;

  • Promoting climate change related education, training, awareness and capacity building;

  • Enhancing implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes;

  • Implementing a comprehensive national climate change investment plan;

  • Enhancing cross sectoral co-ordination of climate change programmes;

  • Enhancing legal and regulatory framework on climate change; and

  • Developing and implementing appropriate green house gas mitigation programmes and actions.

5.9.2 Natural Resources and Environmental Management

Malawi is endowed with a diversity of natural resources including fertile soils, forests, abundant water, diverse flora and fauna. Approximately 80 percent of the country’s population depends on natural resources for their subsistence and household income. Natural resources and environment play a significant role in influencing social and economic development in Malawi. However, increasing population growth coupled with high poverty levels have led to an increase in exploitation of natural resources. Inadequate alternative livelihoods, unaffordable energy technologies and uncoordinated policies have exacerbated environmental degradation leading to social and economic consequences.

Government will therefore implement the following goal, outcomes and strategies to address the above challenges.

Goal

The goal is to ensure sustainable management and utilization of the environment and natural resources.

Medium-Term Expected Outcomes
  • Improved regulatory framework for harmonized environmental and natural resource management; and

  • Improved environmental and natural resource management; and

  • Reduced environmental pollution and degradation.

Key Strategies
  • Improving coordination of environment and natural resource programmes;

  • Developing capacity for Environment and Natural Resource Management (ENRM);

  • Enforcing compliance to environmental and natural resource management legislation;

  • Enhancing mainstreaming of environment and natural resource management issues in sectoral policies and programmes at national and local levels;

  • Promoting biodiversity conservation programs;

  • Promoting development and implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), voluntary carbon markets and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of Forest (REDD) projects;

  • Promoting projects on waste management;

  • Harmonizing environment and natural resources management policies and legislation;

  • Strengthening education and public awareness programmes on environment and natural resources management;

  • Promoting use of environmentally friendly technologies and practices; and

  • Enhancing environmental protection, restoration and rehabilitation.

The following Table 5.1 shows the key priority areas, goals and medium term expected outcomes.

Chapter 6 Implementation Framework

6.1 Implementation Modalities

The MGDS II has been developed to allow all stakeholders to participate in the development of the country. Its implementation will, therefore, involve all stakeholders, including the three arms of Government: the Executive, Parliament, and Judiciary; and civil society and Faith Based Organizations (FBOs); private sector and the general public. Government will lead the implementation process through technical coordination and its consolidated national budget. It is expected that all stakeholder institutions including donors, development and co-operating partners will continue to align their activities and support to this national development agenda, MGDS II.

The alignment to the budget will be critical for its successful implementation. The Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance will facilitate and ensure that all ministries and departments align their sectoral plans, activities and budgets to the development strategy. Wherever sectoral plans do not exist, efforts should be made to develop them. Budget submissions, therefore, will be expected to include only activities that are aligned to this national strategy.

To ensure that the MGDS II is formulated, implemented and monitored with full participation of all stakeholders, Government instituted Sector Working Groups (SWGs). Membership of the SWGs is diverse and includes line Ministry clusters, civil society, private sector, non-government organizations, donors and cooperating partners. The private sector was included as an active partner in all the Sector Working Groups to enhance dialogue between Government and the private sector led growth.

A summary operational table is presented in Annex 1 to guide the implementation of the MGDS II. This table represents strategies, actions and expected outcomes of the MGDS II. 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.

MGDS II has identified six thematic areas from which the nine key priority areas have been isolated. The following have been identified as critical issues that must be pursued to achieve the set goals and targets of the MGDS II:

  • Political will and change of the mind set;

  • Government and Parliament will play their constitutional roles in ensuring that the ultimate objective of MGDS II is achieved thereby taking the country towards achieving the long-term goals;

  • Government will continue to improve donor coordination through the development and adherence to the Development Assistance Strategies (DAS);

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

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

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

6.2 Roles of Key Stakeholders in the Implementation of the MGDS II

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 Parliament will continue to enhance Parliamentary oversight, transparency and accountability in the implementation of the MGDS II. This will be done through members of parliament involvement in the scrutinisation, 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 II. In this regard, the interests and priorities of Malawians shall be protected.

Private Sector: The 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 is expected to take up opportunities outlined in the MGDS II during its implementation. The scope of the private sector participation will be widened to involve them in the provision of other public goods and services through PPPs.

Civil Society: The role of the civil society in the implementation of the MGDS II is to implement some specific activities in various sectors and to complement government’s oversight and accountability functions to safeguard the interests of Malawians.

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

Community: The role of the community will be to ensure smooth implementation of development activities through participatory planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the community will contribute in kind towards some development activities.

6.3 Monitoring and Evaluation

Effective monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the MGDS II are critical for realization of set goals and outcomes. First, the process provides essential data and insights for drawing lessons, priority setting and informed review of the MGDS II implementation processes. Second, the process offers the assurance that resources, including donor funds, are used for agreed purposes. Financial monitoring, through PETS, will track the financial information that relate to the strategy’s resources with a view to maintaining an account of how and where these are applied. Good quality financial monitoring is critical to the effective implementation of the MGDS II and to accountability in the use of resources. Equally noteworthy, the integrity of the Government’s financial monitoring and reporting has a bearing on the degree to which stakeholders may have faith in the system before they can consider providing increased support.

During the implementation of MGDS, the M & E system was strengthened through the district and community level monitoring mechanism. This development strategy incorporates a system to monitor inputs, outcomes and impacts so that resources can be strategically managed and progress tracked. This process helps to distinguish the MGDS II monitoring from traditional project monitoring. The monitoring system will feed information back into the processes of governing and decision-making, making it a vital public management tool. To enable regular and quality reporting, key performance indicators have been identified for each sector. These indicators will help to focus efforts and resources for evaluating sector performance. To strengthen this, outcome and output indicators have clearly been separated to track every level of progress in the implementation process.

The monitoring of MGDS II will be in accordance with Monitoring and Evaluation Master Plan developed by the Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the NSO. The stakeholders will align indicators in accordance with the MGDS II themes and key priority areas. A set of impact level monitoring indicators has been developed and is presented in Annexes.

The summary operational matrix provides a summary of objectives that can also be monitored by line ministries. This will be used in the budget discussion processes and reviews of the MGDS II to track progress toward the impact indicators during implementation.

6.4 National M&E Framework

The implementation framework for MGDS II has taken into account all players who participate in the decision making for the development of the country (Figure 2).

Figure 2:
Figure 2:

Implementation Framework for MGDS II

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2012, 222; 10.5089/9781475506129.002.A001

At the Cabinet level the MGDS II will be chaired by the President. The Cabinet will review the annual progress in the implementation of the MGDS II. It is expected that various ministries will brief the Cabinet based on reports on the actual outputs and outcomes of the implementation of the strategy. Meanwhile the Minister of Development Planning and Cooperation 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 midyear development reports as well as annual development reports produced by Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation. The development report will articulate all issues outlined in the budget that are in line with the MGDS II.

The Secretary for Development Planning and Cooperation 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 regarding issues raised in the mid-year and annual development reports.

There will be a technical committee in place and it will consist of development partners, senior civil servants, civil society and private sector. The committee will be chaired by Director of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation. The Chair will prepare documentation for the Principal Secretaries’ meetings.

In order to improve monitoring of the implementation of the MGDS II, Government will develop a vibrant monitoring and evaluation system with a view to producing brief quarterly monitoring and evaluation reports. The Government will continue to develop capacity at both sector and district levels to monitor the implementation process. The Government will also strengthen monitoring and evaluation capacity at the local authority levels. All monitoring and evaluation activities of the MGDS II will be coordinated by Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation.

The monitoring reports will be circulated widely for information sharing and advocacy. Ministry of Information and Civic Education will disseminate some of the information using different methods including the government website.

6.5 Financing and Budgetary Allocations

The MGDS II will largely be financed through three sources, namely, domestic revenues; external grants; and borrowing (both internally and externally). Additionally, PPPs for infrastructure programmes shall be encouraged. Other likely sources of financing are regional and international financing initiatives.

A summary of the estimated budgetary allocation to the key priorities and thematic areas for are presented in table 6.1 below.

Table 6.1:

Estimated Budgetary Allocations to Themes and Key Priority Areas (Percentage of Planned Fiscal Expenditures)

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Note: Out of the total for the Themes, an allocation of an average of 77 percent will be directed towards the KPAs over the Strategy period.
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Note:

Malawi: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
Author: International Monetary Fund