Govt, US sign MK1 trillion agreement for a more self-reliant Malawi

Ambassador Robert Scott with new USAID Director and Finance Minister Felix Mlusu

The Governments of the United States and Malawi have signed a new five-year  assistance agreement valued at approximately K1 trillion (US$1.2 billion), to support the Malawi 2063 Agenda and advance a more self-reliant Malawi that is gender-equitable and democratically accountable.

The grant agreement between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Malawi signifies a new stage in the two governments’ commitment to fostering sustainability, engaging local actors, and producing greater development results for the country.

Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu, US Ambassador to Malawi Robert Scott and USAID/Malawi Mission Director Catie Lott witnessed the ceremony in Lilongwe.

Through the new agreement, the two countries will coordinate on a range of development projects which will empower Malawi’s youths to lead healthy, informed and productive lives; strengthen the public sector’s accountability and effectiveness and increase inclusive and sustainable wealth generation through private sector investment. 

Scott said the arrangement signifies his government’s continued commitment to work together toward a shared vision for Malawi.

He noted that through the vision, the entire population is empowered to advance their own development solutions and Malawi will be able to fully realise its development goals.

Ambassador Scott, Finance Minister and USAID's Lott captured during the signing ceremony 

The Envoy indicated the agreement builds upon US’ long-term relationship with Malawi and furthers its commitment to work together in supporting the development aspirations of the country’s blueprint for an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation.

“Through the generosity of American taxpayers, the US government invests in partnerships that save lives, reduce poverty and strengthen democratic governance. The Agreement we will sign today is one way in which the Malawian and US governments’ partner to move one step closer to providing Malawians the services and opportunities needed to live healthier and more prosperous lives.

“Our commitment means that more adolescent girls will be able to go to secondary schools in their own communities. It means that more citizens will have the information and access they need to demand better services from their local governments. It means that farmers with profitable, resilient livelihoods are able to better address climate stresses. And, it means that health workers are better equipped to meet the next pandemic when it comes,” said the envoy.

Mlusu described the signing of the pact comes as timely when Malawi has just launched its development blueprint, the Mw2063.

He welcomed the support from the Joe Biden administration through the agreement in the country’s quest to grow and diversify its economy in line with the development agenda.

Some of the grant beneficiaries. Pics courtesy of the US Embassy

As a low-income country, the Finance Minister cited lack of resources to fund various development initiatives lined up in Malawi’s plans one of its main challenge to socio-economic development. 

“As a government, we have an idea of where we want to take this country in terms of development. These ideas are clearly outlined in the Malawi 2063 and other policy documents which we have prepared. However, our main challenge is lack of financing to fund such projects. Consequently, these nicely prepared plans remain unimplemented and are just filed away as we wait for funding.

“This event today is very important for us. Your commitment to provide US$1.2 Billion in grant aid to Malawians is not a simple commitment. The USA Government through USAID is and remains one of the largest bilateral donors for Malawi. You have supported us during some of the difficult times in our history as a country. We have known and we know USA as a very generous people, and we are most grateful for that”.

Mlusu stated that the funds will enable the construction of more Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) and help manage natural resources better.

USAID’s partnership which spans over 60 years, has supported Malawi’s development through projects in the areas of health, education, democracy and governance and environment.