SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT PROFESSOR PETER MUTHARIKA, IN AUDIENCE WITH THE NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION, 21 NOVEMBER 2019
I am delighted to meet you. I recall meeting some of you during the visit of Professor Paul Collier. But today, we are meeting with a more focused mission as we define our national direction.
Let me begin by emphasizing that the Public out there holds this Commission in very high regard. Malawians now know that we are going to have far-sighted, objective, consistent and well-coordinated planning.
For a long time, this country has always been good at planning. We have always had good ideas. But implementation has often been our problem.
I expect this problem to come to an end once and for all. There is no point in planning if we can’t implement what we plan. By the end of the day, the most important things in life are the things that get done.
As a country, we have a lot of work to be done. And the sooner we get down to work, the better for us all.
I want Malawi to move from a low income country to a middle income country. Let us remember that our ultimate goal is to create wealth and improve the quality of life for Malawians.
In the end, every community in Malawi should have these seven essentials:
Access to a tarmac road
A good secondary School
A Community Technical College
The question is: how do we create wealth to make Malawi a middle income economy?
First, we need to make Malawi a producing and exporting country and stop being a predominantly importing and consuming country. This is our vision.
In order to make Malawi a producing and exporting country, we need to address the critical forces of production:
We need to have a skilled labour force and a knowledgeable society. This is one reason why I want every community to have a secondary school and a community technical college.
We need to create new capital for most Malawians. This is also why we are encouraging foreign direct investment.
Locally, we have the resources. We have the assets. What we need is to turn our resources and assets into capital.
However, we need a positive mindset to drive our collective efforts towards our goals. We need to instill the spirit of patriotism, integrity and hardwork.
We cannot get anywhere with a negative mindset. Let us plan to change the national mindset systematically.
Like many Malawians, I have much faith in this Commission!
I should urge Ministry of Finance to ensure that this Commission properly funded. And let me say this: we should never make the mistake relegating the funding of this Commission to donors. We will lose control of our planning the moment we do that.
If this Commission is to implement our homegrown policies, then we must take full responsibility of it. Let us make it our priority.
I believe you have been doing a lot of thinking and brainstorming, let me take this turn to listen to your views.
Thank you for listening.