Office of President & Cabinet

Office of President & Cabinet

His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, held bilateral talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department ahead of the signing of the $US350 million Millennium Challenge Compact.

President Chakwera and Secretary Blinken discussed a number of areas of mutual cooperation between Malawi and the United States, including infrastructural development, promotion of democracy, governance reform, and economic recovery.

Secretary Blinken commended President Chakwera for his leadership as demonstrated through his courage to make difficult and painful corrective economic decisions that will yield dividends for the country in the long term, as well as for his defence of freedom and democracy on the international stage. He therefore assured the President of America's support in Malawi’s quest to implement the developmental pillars of Malawi 2063 towards the achievement of job creation, wealth creation, and food security.

After the bilateral talks, President Chakwera and Secretary Blinken presided over the signing ceremony of the 2nd MCC Compact, with the MCC represented by Ms. Alice Albright and the Malawi Government represented by Hon. Sosten Gwengwe, MP, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. In his remarks prior to the signing, His Excellency described the positive impact on the economy the Compact will have through the construction of over 300kms of road, including the following:

1. From Chikwawa in Rumphi to Euthini in Mzimba - 67kms;

2. From Mkanda in Mchinji to Mwase/Linga in Kasungu - 88kms;

3. From Chileka in Lilongwe to Chigwirizano in Lilongwe - 53kms; and

4. From Chamtulo in Mangochi (off Golomoti to Monkey Bay road) to Mkutumula near Balaka Market in Ntcheu - 79kms.

For his part, Secretary Blinken pledged even more US support for Malawi's developmental goals, including the country's quest for an Extended Credit Facility with the International Monetary Fund, where President Chakwera will meet Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva shortly.

 

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera handing over the SADC chairmanship mantle to His Excellency President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo of the DRC during the the 42nd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government opening ceremony.

Lilongwe, November 22, Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera, who is also Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has emphasized need to review policy frameworks in order to enhance manufacturing and industrialization whose contribution to the Regional Gross Domestic Production (GDP) has been at a low rate for a long time within the region.

He made the remarks Monday in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe during the opening of the 5th SADC Industrialization Week and Exhibition taking place in the Capital City, to run until November 26.

Chakwera said for countries like Malawi, development of the manufacturing sector has been stagnant for quite some time due to uncoupling policies and as such demands a complete overhaul.

Since the dawn of multi-party democracy in 1994, not only has industrialization been neglected, but we have in fact witnessed a high degree of de-industrialization through the closure of many factories like Mulanje Canning Company, Brown and Clapperton (B&C, Press Furniture, gone and British American Tobacco.

"These were once leading our economies march towards value addition and production. But over time, they took their operations elsewhere because we allowed ourselves to be governed by administrations with no industrialization agenda," said Chakwera.

He said this is something that can be rectified if the country has sound policy frameworks.

"The good news is that from the inception of my administration, we have made the resurrection of our industries a key priority. What is even more pleasing is the fact that our renewed focus on industry comes at a time when there is general agreement across the region that industrialization as driver for job and wealth creation is non-negotiable," said Chakwera.

Chakwera, who is also the current chairperson of SADC added saying the various interventions in place like SADC Free Trade Area and the African Continent Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), would be meaningless and not achieve their intended purposes without industrialization.

This he said calls for SADC member states to prioritize industrialization, as Malawi did in its Malawi Agenda 2063.

He also said one of the areas the SADC region should focus on to bolster production and industrialization is in the mining and agriculture sector.

He said within the region, mining and agriculture contribute around 50 percent to the region's GDP, but there is need to improve on value addition in these sectors.

"The first thing to look at in addressing this malaise is the policy framework, for it is clear that governments within our region have been implementing policies that hinder the transformation of our economies from raw resource dependency to value-adding production through technological research and innovations," said Chakwera.

This year's SADC Industrialization Week is Bolstering Productive Capacities in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable Economic and Industrial Transformation.

The industrialization week provides an interaction platform for policy makers, academia and investors amongst others, from within the member states and who are tasked in supporting industrialization within the region.

Guest of honor was President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique who urged member States to find effective means of developing industrialization in the region.

Speaking on behalf of the SADC Business Council, Madalitso Kazembe, said the private sector is also a catalyst in promoting industrialization by providing resources to industrialize, job creation and creating an enabling business environment to attract meaningful regional investments.

She said in terms of the industrialization week agenda, the body centers its interest around three main pillars, namely; trade facilitation specifically resolving Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), regional infrastructure solutions, and Regional Value Chains.

"In the industrialization bucket, our flagship remains the annual SADC Industrialization Week, which is an opportunity to put a declaration to the SADC Heads of States. This is a joint declaration between business and public sector on key issues to realizing the SADC Industrialization Strategy.

"We look forward to continuing our collective action around NTBs, trade facilitation, regional infrastructure and RVCs. We are confident that we will be successful and as a consequence, provide investment business and job opportunities for African people," she said.

 
 
Wednesday, 23 June 2021 02:06

Unity And Commitment For SADC Development

President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has appealed for unity and peace within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in order to achieve development.

Chakwera made these remarks on Wednesday during the Extra-ordinary meeting of Heads of State and Government held in Maputo, Mozambique where the organ also commemorated 40 years of anniversary.

“All of us as Africans must work together, and SADC as a regional economic block lets continue making strides by solving problems collaboratively and collectively.

“We have worked together to be a model of a continuing integration and we have successfully shown our bond that goes beyond diplomacy on trade and many other areas,” he said.

He hailed the outgoing Chairperson for SADC, President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi and Chairperson of the Troika SADC on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Keabetswe Masisi, for their commitment to ensure that there is peace in the region during tenures of office.

“I must thank you for taking a step to strengthen resilience and responsiveness to disasters. Under your leadership you have made ensured there is peace at all times in the face of the most security challenges,” he said. 

As an incoming SADC Chair, Chakwera took advantage of the meeting to formally invited SADC Heads of State and Government to the 41st SADC Summit to be hosted by Malawi and assured the member states that the government, and people of Malawi are ready to serve.

 “I pledge to be of service, and I therefore invite you all that you come to Malawi for the 41st Summit in August this year,” alluded the president.

The summit was held at Joaquim Chisano International Conference Centre (JCCIC) in Maputo, Mozambique, where four key issues namely; peace and security, energy, food and Covid 19 status in the region took center stage.

Officially opening the summit earlier, Mozambique President and Chairperson of SADC Filipe Nyusi lauded member states for the unity that has been shown in combating the rioting soldiers in Cape Delgado.

“I appeal to you all that we should work hand in hand to fight against Covid 19 pandemic which continue to cause a lot of trouble in our region.

“We should also take Nacala corridor as a very important cable of development in the region, which was launched as an operation center for humanitarian response for all emergencies,” Nyusi said.

SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax said among other the summit is impressed with the strides it is taking to provide solutions to some challenges existing in the region.

President Lazarus Chakwera attended to members’ questions on the State Of Nation Address (SONA) he delivered in the Parliament of Malawi on May 12 as he was opening the 3rd meeting of the 49th budget session.

In his answering to a question from the Member of Parliament for Mzimba Solola, Honorable Jacob Hara, who asked the President “How he will ensure that the budget formulation process and MDAs align themselves to the national agenda and vision as stipulated in the SONA”, President Chakwera pointed out that the SONA was generally to give an indication of the policy priorities and developmental direction and not to give an exhaustive itemized list of all the programs and projects that will be a manifestation thereof across the country.

Chakwera added that his Minister of Finance will preempt all the on-budget and off-budget projects that his administration will be pursuing. Here President Chakwera urged all Malawians not to rush to conclusion that some roads not mentioned in his SONA ars the roads that will not be worked on.

Answering a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Ntcheu Central, Honorable Dr. Albert Mbawala on “What strategies are in place to increase electricity generation capacity in the country”, President Lazarus Chakwera told the house and the entire nation that in the next four years his administration will add more than 1000 Megawatts of electricity which exclude the 350 MW, 90MW and 41MW power projects at Mpatamanga, Songwe and Mbongozi respectively but include the 15 projects of which 9 of them are to be completed this year with the remaining 6 projects to be finished by 2025.

Apart from the two submitted specific questions, President Chakwera tackled some general and supplementary questions from different members of Parliament.

 

 

 

Thursday, 13 May 2021 01:56

Chakwera prioritizes road infrastructure

President Lazarus Chakwera has put transport infrastructure as one of his priority areas for growth in the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

Delivering the State Of National Address (SONA) at Parliament Building in Lilongwe Wednesday, during the opening of 49th session budget meeting, President Chakwera rated transport infrastructure and public works as one key area for social and economic activities.

Chakwera said: "Good roads and transport infrastructure are a priority to my government as there can be a quick access to development and there can be no exchange of goods and services without such infrastructure."

 The SONA has seen inclusion of some transport infrastructure like the construction of Endingeni- Kamchocho-Euthini- Mpherembe-Rumphi road and rehabilitation as well as upgrading of roads like Rumphi-Nthalire-Nyika-Chitipa and Mzimba-Eswazini-Mzarangwe-Kafukule-Njakwa roads in the Northern part of the country. Nsanje-Marka, Lirangwe-Chingale-Namatutu-Machinga, Chikwawa-Chapananga-Mwanza, Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza in the South, rehabilitation of M1 road from Kamuzu International Airport junction to Mzimba turn off and from Kacheche to Chiweta.

The rehabilitation of the M5 Balaka market-Kaphatenga-Dwangwa Mukwiya (Nkhata-Bay) which covers a distance of 469 kilometres has also been included in President Chakwera's SONA.

On Railway transport, President Chakwera said that the construction of Salima-Tunduma railway-line, resuscitation of the Sena Corridor Railway from port of Beira in Mozambique to Limbe, which will involve Limbe-Marka railway section and construction of a railway road bridge across the Ruo river are on the cards.

President Chakwera said his vision for country's development is also focused also on lake transport and he wants to finalise works on Likoma Island port including the landing facility at Chizumulu Island and earth roads on the Island.

Chakwera added that his government is determined to bring back the glory of Malawi Airline by among others establishing the Malawi Civil Aviation Authority to regulate the Air transport in this country.

"Once these infrastructures are completed, it will be easy for Malawi to link with other countries in social, trade and health issues," Chakwera said.

 

 

President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has commended Vice-President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima and the Public Sector Systems Review Taskforce for producing a recommendation report before the 90-day deadline.

Presidential Press Secretary Brian Banda said through a media release that the President received the Report at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on 21st May 2021.

“President Chakwera applauded the Vice-President and his team for producing an excellent report before the 90-day deadline the President had set back in February.

“The President also committed to study the full report and use it to give further direction on engaging the public and other stakeholders in the actions outlined in the report’s implementation plan,” reads the media release published after the presentation ceremony.

Banda said the President had delegated to the Vice-President to form and lead the Public Sector Review Systems Taskforce to review the three Government systems of Allowances, Procurement and Contracts, and to submit to him recommendations of changes to the Conditions of Service and Structure of the Public Service to make it more efficient.

The gender balanced Taskforce had 14 members, namely, Prof. Ronald Mangani, Prof. Nyovani Madise, Prof. Ngeyi Kanyongolo, Prof. Wiseman Chijere Chirwa, Dr. Aubrey Mvula, Dr. Henry Chingaipe, Mr. Steve Matenje SC, Mr. Waki Mushani, Mr. John Suzi Banda, Rev. Elsie Tembo, Ms. Tione Chilambe, Mrs. Zunzo Mitole, Ms. Nwazi Mnthambala, and former Ambassador Hawa Ndilowe.

It held its first meeting on Thursday, 25th February, 2021 and agreed on the modus operandi including an action plan with clear timelines.

The Taskforce was supported by a team of technocrats within the civil service from the Office of the President and Cabinet, the Public Sector Reforms, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, among others.

Background to the formation of the Taskforce

Dr Chakwera delegated the Vice-President to form and lead the Taskforce on 14 February, 2020 during his weekly National Address on the War on Covid-19 in which the President bemoaned lack of accountability and abuse of funds meant for the fight against the pandemic.

“We all know that the rot we have all expressed outrage about goes deeper than Covid-19 funds. If we are going to root out the problem of waste, abuse, and theft of public resources, we must admit that these are behaviours that have poisoned our values as a nation and have corroded our entire government system,” Dr Chakwera said.

He further said over the past 27 years, the government system has been rigged with bad or old laws, procedures, policies, and contracts that are cleverly designed to not only facilitate waste, abuse, and theft, but to also protect those who engage in the acts from being fired or prosecuted.

“The three government systems through which this behaviour is perpetuated are the system of allowances, the system of procurement, and the system of civil servant’s employment contracts. These three systems are used by system insiders to loot with impunity,” the President said.

To this effect, Dr Chakwera said it is the whole system that is corrupt and therefore the need to clean it up as a whole.

“We must conduct a comprehensive review and overhaul of the three government systems of allowances, of procurement, and of employment contracts. That is the public sector reform that this country needs most urgently,” he said.

Dr Chakwera further said the recommendations must include any legislative changes that must be made in the Republican laws at one of the sittings of Parliament this year.

“Our laws must protect the interests and resources of the public, not the rubble of public servants who use broken systems to loot and use bad laws and contracts to keep their jobs in the system and keep looting.”

He said the recommendations must also include a restructuring of the civil service to be more efficient and of civil servants’ conditions of service so that the good people in the system are well supported and not able to use poor pay as an excuse for wasting, abusing, and stealing public resources.

“This systemic review and overhaul will be resisted by so many who are benefiting from the looting, including greedy politicians from all our political parties, greedy businesses from the private sector, and greedy civil servants they partner with inside the machinery.

“But it is a battle they will not win. They will not win because you, the Malawian people, put me here to bring this kind of radical change, and whether anyone likes it or not, change has come,” Dr Chakwera said.

 

 

Contact us

Office of the President and Cabinet, Capital Hill Circle, Private Bag 301, Capital City, Lilongwe 3, Malawi.

Tel: +2651789311 / +2651789 411

E-mail: opc@opc.gov.mw

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