Planning Commission hints at Vision 2020 successor

The National Planning Commission (NPC) says it is developing a new long-term national development plan and successor blue-print to the Vision 2020.

NPC director general Thomas Munthali, whose institution is mandated to formulate the medium and long-term development plans for the country and oversee their implementation, confirmed the development in an interview.

Kalilombe: The year 2063 is much better

He said the exercise involves the conception and design of the new document.

Munthali said the commission has since proposed to name the successor document National Transformational 2063, which is aligned to the Agenda 2063 period and continental aspirations.

He said the new plan is covering a long period as proposed by NPC since strategies to be defined in the document will largely target the welfare of future generations.

Munthali said the plan is expected to be launched in July 2020.

“Contextually, the transformation entails transformation of mind-sets towards more positive thinking and ethos of hard work, patriotism and integrity, transformation in structure of economy more towards value adding and industrialisation and new focus from poverty reduction to wealth creation,” he said.

Commenting on the actual process of developing the new vision, Munthali said the exercise will start with reviewing Vision 2020 to identify lessons learnt over the years and will be followed by a series of consultative meetings with various stakeholders nationwide to establish common aspirations towards the new vision.

Quizzed to comment on notable achievements of Vision 2020, he cited poverty reduction from 53.9 percent in 1998 to 50.7 percent in 2015 and improved economic growth rate which he said averaged 4.4 percent over the past two decades.

Over the years, Munthali said Malawi has seen an increase in transport infrastructure despite poor quality in certain instances; an increase in information and communication technology access; improvement in the literacy rate; increased access to safe drinking water; reduction in under-five and maternal mortality rates.

“While a comprehensive review of Vision 2020 is yet to be done, initial assessments show that its operationalisation through the medium-term strategies for the past 18 years has brought some improvements, albeit small and slow-paced,” said Munthali.

Business Review understands that despite some strides in some aspects of the economy, many targets of the Vision 2020 have not been achieved.

For instance, the Vision 2020 aspired to increase gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to $1 000 (about K740 000) per person per year, to attain the middle-income status, but currently, Malawi’s GDP per capita income stands at a paltry $381 (about K282 000) as of 2018.

Further to that, Malawi still predominantly remains a net importer and not a net exporter as was aspired in Vision 2020, with trade gap yawning by a magnitude of over $1 billion (about K740 billion).

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Chikumbutso Kalilombe said it was important for government, through NPC, to take on board so many stakeholders in formulating the final document.

“The year 2063 is much better in terms of long-term planning but we should have review stages in between, say in 2025,” he said.

Launched in 1998, Vision 2020 was developed to provide a guide towards sustainable national development in Malawi.

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