African Development Bank approves Malawi’s economic strategy

African Development Bank approves Malawi’s economic strategy

The African Development Bank has approved its Country Strategy Paper for Malawi for 2018-2022 to boost economic diversification, reduce dependency on rain-fed agriculture and build resilience for growth in the southern African nation. The Country Strategy Paper will guide the African Development Bank’s operations in Malawi with regards to its financial, technical and knowledge assistance to the country.

It will seek to ameliorate Malawi’s low levels of industrialization, infrastructure gaps in energy, lack of diversification, limited sources of export revenue and low financial intermediation.

The new five-year plan builds on the Bank’s previous Malawi Country Strategy Paper 2013 – 2017 and will advance corporate strategies and the country’s most pressing development needs detailed in Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy III. The strategic blueprint is articulated around two main strategic pillars focused on further development of the country’s energy, transport, agriculture and water sectors.

The first pillar proposes investments in infrastructure development, while the second seeks to advance investments in economic transformation projects and programs.

Through these pillars, the Bank will aim to strengthen the foundations for private sector development by unlocking private and public investment, promote diversification, build economic resilience to reduce poverty and address rising income inequalities across gender.

Subdued agricultural output and increased maize import caused by two consecutive years of drought was responsible for the 2016 slump in economic growth to 2.7 percent. Malawi’s economic growth however rebounded to 5.1 percent in 2017 owing to a recovery in agricultural production.

The Bank’s interventions will thus build on ongoing positive developments in the domestic environment, driving economic transformation and small industry to support diversification and (decent and formal) job creation. Designed to reduce fragility and address issues of economic, social and climate resilience, the new Country Strategy Paper gives greater attention to the specific challenges Malawi is facing as a small landlocked country, with a growing population that currently doubles every 22 years.

The Bank’s plans will also support key water basins such as Songwe River and Lake Malawi. The Country Strategy Paper was developed through consultations with the Government of Malawi, the private sector, civil society and other development partners.

Based on these successful engagements, the Government has expressed greater Bank participation in its knowledge-management, transportation, macro-economic and policy reforms agenda.

The impact of two upcoming events on the country’s macro-economic outlook – the 2018 Population and Housing Census and 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary elections – have also been factored into the design of the country strategy The Malawi Country Strategy Paper 2018-2022 aligns with the Bank’s Human Capital, Agricultural Transformation in Africa, Industrialization for Africa and Jobs for Youth in Africa strategies. It also operationalizes the Bank’s High 5 priorities. As at October 2018, the Bank’s active portfolio in Malawi covered 15 operations totaling slightly over US$308 million.

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Ezeadichie Onyeka Michael is the Co-Founder of Haelsoft, a Professional Services Company in Nigeria that provides Information and Technology Services for small and big size companies in Nigeria(Africa). He is an Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist with Expertise in Web Technology and Digital Marketing. He has developed & Implemented Digital Marketing Strategies(Campaigns) for top brands across sectors in Finance, Telecommunication, Ecommerce who operate in the African market. His professional experience includes key roles at Google Business Group(Nigeria), Google Women on the Web (Nigeria), Edubridge Consultant and Wild Fusion where he has trained over 500 Entrepreneurs on how to use various Web Technology products to succeed online. Customer centricity, User Experience, Conversion optimization are 3 pronged framework he applies around the often-frenetic world of web analytics to ensure that clients stay competitive in the market. He believes that investing in talent is the key to long term success for brands across Nigeria (Africa).

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