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Experts tip government on human capital development

Post was last updated: May 24, 2023

 Economic and education experts have urged government to provide adequate funding and build capacity in local councils to facilitate the implementation of development projects in a decentralised system.

The call follows a report by the World Bank which showed that the central government’s failure to release funding for projects implemented at council level and a hostile political-economic environment have undermined efforts to promote investment in human capital development.

In its May 2023 issue of the Human Capital Development Review report titled ‘Overcoming challenges to transforming human capital’, the World Bank says the central government’s consistent failure to release funds to local councils has impeded efforts to boost investments in human capital development through decentralisation.

Mtembezeka: It will undermine their capacity to finance initiatives

Reads part of the report: “At the same time, funds for other recurrent transactions have consistently decreased in real per capita terms, most notably in health and education, which have declined by 24 percent and 17 percent, respectively, over the past four years despite the continued deconcentrating of service delivery functions.”

Commenting on the report, economic analyst Bond Mtembezeka said the inadequate funding to local councils and the will undermine their capacity to finance initiatives designed to develop human capital in the country.

“Government needs to ensure that there is a tracking and reconciliation framework in place and only make subsequent disbursement when it is satisfied that the previous disbursement was utilised for the intended purpose and achieved the intended results,” he said.

Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences associate professor of economics Betchani Tchereni urged the government to empower local councils to collect their revenue to mitigate the resource constraints faced by the central government.

The findings of the World Bank are consistent with a study commissioned by the Civil Society Education Coalition which showed that the government’s allocations to education and health had stalled in the last decade.

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