Experts bang heads on compact priorities

post was last updated: June 19, 2019

By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Stakeholders have identified macro-economic volatility, rural transport and access to land as three top challenges that Malawi’s second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact should address.

This follows consultations the Malawi Millennium Development Trust (MMDT) held in Blantyre on Monday.

National Coordinator for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), Dye Mawindo, said they have had meetings with three delegations from MCC Washington office looking at new areas to focus on in the new investment which, out of many, land access, macro-economic volatility and rural transport were picked.

Mawindo said there were a number of processes that have to be undertaken before the compact is implemented and it will only be known as to how much will be given in the new compact only after these processes are completed.

“There is unanimity in terms of the reactions that we are receiving from the stakeholders that the volatility of the inflation rates is an issues and that’s just a tip of an iceberg. But there is also general agreement that poor transport system is affecting economic growth in the country. On land, we are getting inputs that the value of the land goes up only after you have title deeds which give one opportunities to even access finances from financial institutions.

“One sector will be chosen, or if we are lucky, two. Thereafter, we will go into the root cause analysis basically identifying why we have challenges in those areas. Thereafter, we will do concept notes and later project development. Then we will go into negotiations where we will be able to know how much money they will invest into our economy and the period to implementation takes about 36 months,” Mawindo said.

One of the stakeholders during the meeting economist, Joyce Malongo, said out of the three she considers macro-economic volatility and rural transport to be the major constraints facing the Malawi economy.

“The condition of the rural roads is mostly poor and this has an impact on the access to agriculture commodities which is the backbone of our economy to the markets and on macro-economic volatility we need to do more. Yes, inflation has been stable but if anything happens we lose everything,” Malongo said.

In December 2018, the MCC board approved to provide Malawi with a five year grant programme for putting up a strong performance on its scorecard which focuses on good governance and curbing corruption among others.

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