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The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) is the overarching medium term strategy for Malawi designed to attain Malawi’s long term development aspirations. The strategy covers a period of five years from 2011 to 2016. It follows the successful implementation of the country’s medium term strategy, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) between 2006 and 2011.
The objective of MGDS II is to continue reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development. The MGDS II identifies 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 MGDS II has isolated nine key priority areas from the themes which are necessary to xix achieve rapid economic growth and improvement in the well-being of Malawians within the implementation period. The key priority areas are: Agriculture and Food Security; Energy, Industrial Development, Mining, and Tourism; Transport Infrastructure and Nsanje World Inland Port; 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.
Agriculture is key to food security, economic growth and wealth creation. The sector, however, faces a number of challenges including over dependence on rain-fed farming, low absorption of improved technologies, weak private sector participation, and lack of investment in mechanization. To address these challenges Government will aim at enhancing agricultural productivity, diversification and food security through, among others, the following strategies: enhancing provision of effective extension services; enhancement of livestock and fisheries productivity; promotion of diversification of agricultural production for domestic and export markets; promoting dietary diversification; improving the functioning of agricultural markets; increasing national food storage capacity; and reducing post harvest losses.
A well-developed and efficient energy system is vital for industrial, mining and tourism development. Government will therefore focus on increasing the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and promote other energy sources with the aim of improving service delivery and increased output in the economy. To promote industrial development, Government will promote use of modern technology in manufacturing; facilitate accreditation of quality assurance institutions; undertake industrial reforms; promote product and market diversification; and promote value addition in existing and potential products. Government will also implement a number of strategies to promote mining and tourism sectors. These strategies include: enforcing legislations on sustainable use and management of mineral resources; promoting the development of high-quality tourism facilities in designated areas; providing infrastructure that is supportive to tourism and mining development; and promoting participation of both local and foreign investors in the tourism and mining industries.
Good transport infrastructure is a catalyst for development. Better domestic and regional connectivity demands improved road, water, rail and air transport. While continuing with the improvement of the road network, Government will focus on rail and water transport infrastructure including the Nsanje World Inland Port.
Rapid development in all sectors of the economy will require highly skilled and educated workforce, and the application of science and technology. To strengthen the education system and promote science, technology and innovation Government will implement among others, the following strategies: constructing additional school infrastructure; training and recruiting additional teaching staff; improving scientific and technological infrastructure for research and development and strengthening innovation regulatory framework; and promoting adoption, transfer and utilization of appropriate technologies.
Government recognizes that a healthy population is necessary for sustainable economic growth and development. To ensure a healthy population, Government will among others, implement the following strategies: strengthening community health service delivery and health support systems; improving availability and access to maternal care services; strengthening initiatives for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of emerging noncommunicable diseases; scaling up the delivery of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS); scaling up of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs). Government will also improve water and sanitation infrastructure and undertake public awareness and education campaigns to address the challenges in the areas of sanitation and hygiene. On HIV and AIDS management, Government will promote HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC); promote Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT); promote advocacy and awareness campaigns and behavioural change at all levels; and offer effective HIV and AIDS education and life skills programmes in all primary and secondary schools.
The majority of Malawi‟s population live in rural areas. Thus, improvement of living standards for rural communities is critical to the development of the country. Government will use an Integrated Rural Development (IRD) approach to resuscitate rural economies and xxi transform them into potential drivers of economic growth and development. IRD will set a platform for empowering rural people to exploit socioeconomic opportunities and tackle challenges for improving their livelihoods. To achieve this, Government will pursue a number of strategies, including: promoting the establishment of rural growth centres; providing basic amenities to the rural areas; promoting the establishment of satellite model villages; and promoting the rural electrification programme.
Malawi depends on rain-fed agriculture, although she is endowed with vast water resources. Government will continue to embark on the Green Belt Irrigation initiative to utilize water from lakes and perennial rivers to enhance the country’s production of a variety of crops, livestock and fisheries. To achieve this, Government will pursue a number of initiatives, including the following: developing irrigation infrastructure; enhancing technical and administrative capacities in irrigated agriculture; rehabilitating irrigation schemes and dams; promoting research in irrigation technology; developing potential groundwater resources; establishing piped water systems; rehabilitating water facilities throughout the country; and promoting user friendly technologies for water resource conservation and utilization.
Children and the youth constitute a significant proportion of the population of Malawi. It is therefore essential to invest in child development, youth development and empowerment. In the medium term it is expected that there will be equitable access to quality child development services; and increased absorption of skills, technology and innovations by the youth. In this respect, strategies to be implemented include: promoting early childhood development and pre-primary education; protecting children against abuse; eliminating harmful cultural practices; improving youth’s technical, vocational, entrepreneurial and life skills; and improving youth’s access to credit facilities for entrepreneurship.
Natural resources form a principal source of social well being and economic development in Malawi. However, these resources are under constant stress from climate change and unprecedented human, industrial and other developmental activities. To address this, Government will implement a number of strategies including: developing adaptation and mitigation measures to climate change related impacts; improving coordination of xxii environment and natural resource programmes; promoting bio-diversity conservation programs; promoting development and implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects; promoting projects on waste management and air pollution and other environmentally friendly technologies and practices; and developing, conserving and protecting forest plantations and natural woodlands.