By Tabbu Kitta Kauye
Lilongwe, Mana: President Lazarus Chakwera has underlined the need for the country to boost its productivity and generate more revenue in order to transform the dwindling economy.
Speaking in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Lilongwe when he opened the 50th session of Parliament, Chakwera said although government has put in place strategies to mitigate the economic shocks, by among others implementing significant debt restructuring and avoiding debt occurring – incurring policies, the measures are not enough to stop or heal the hemorrhaging wound in the economy.
“The wound is the fact that we as a people and as a country are simply not producing enough valuable goods and services to generate the forex and revenue to pay off our debt, engage in meaningful development, free ourselves from foreign aid and make our economy resilient against external shocks, disasters, public crises and global disruptions
“What Malawians want is for us to become a nation of people who can produce enough to afford to feed themselves without owing anyone here at home or abroad” said Chakwera” restructuring our economy to be producing enough to create wealth, jobs and achieve food security in order to move our country towards becoming a low-middle-income economy and acceleration of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”
Commenting on the SONA United Nations Resident Coordinator Rabbecca Adda- Donto commended president Chakwera for the strides made in the area of social protection and in achieving the SDGs and the Malawi 2063.
“The president highlighted the need to transform the economy, to create wealth and jobs and to also ensure that vulnerable people are not left behind. This SONA reflects the development aspirations of the country in achieving the Malawi 2063 and the SDGs.” She said
African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) Executive Director Eliya Zulu said the SONA evidently reflects the country’s situation.
According to Zulu there is need to close the gap between policy and practice.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Michael Kaiyatsa said the SONA is a mixed bag, but is hopeful that government will work in fixing and improving public service delivery.
President Chakwera delivered the SONA under the theme “Delivering Economic Transformation and Governance Reform through Sacrificial Action and service Excellence”