Lilongwe: Malawi Government on Wednesday released the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) draft document which replaces the first MGDS that run from June 2006 and phases out in July this year. The release of the document comes barely a week after Malawi’s major donors under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (Cabs) threatened not to approve the new budget support for the country if the MGDS II is not finalised on time. The document was circulated at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe during a national consultative workshop where government solicited final feedback from a cross-section of stakeholders.
Deputy Minister of Development Planning and Cooperation Daniel Liwimbi said the successor strategy, just like its predecessor, will be a single reference document for the country’s development programmes for the next five years (2011-2016). "It is a document that will see the country continuing with its achievements that have been attained in the past few years," said Liwimbi.
He recalled that prior to MGDS implementation, Malawi was experiencing poor economic growth rates which he said resulted into many Malawians being thrown into poverty trap. He said consequently, livelihoods of the majority of Malawians declined sharply. "The introduction of MGDS reversed these challenges," said the minister.
Liwimbi also assured stakeholders that the formulation of the second MGDS has been "highly" consultative and participatory. "I strongly feel, therefore, it represents a consensus on how Malawi can further accelerate the attainment of its development objectives."
He said the new document also incorporates lessons learnt from the implementation of the first MGDS.
Secretary for Development Planning and Cooperation Ted Sitimawina said apart from the consultations that his ministry undertook between September and December last year, the formulation process of the second MGDS also involved a number of reviews and studies.
Said Sitimawina: "We refer to the MGDS as a living document in the sense that some programmes and projects that started in the current MGDS will live on MGDS II."