Chilima courts MPs on mining, vision 2063

Saulos Chilima

Vice President Salous Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, on Thursday held a joint meeting with the Budget and Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to lobby them to support implementation of Malawi 2063 and legislation to promote the mining sector.

The meeting took place at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.

The Veep said government focus is to ensure all government entities adhere to the MW2063 vision and treat mining as a priority and main sector.

Chilima said implementation of Malawi 2063 as agreed and planned will see Malawi graduate into a lower middle income country by the year 2030.

"This year’s budget is the first to fund the MW2063. Given the vision and implementation plan, it is now imperative that we all be pulling in the same direction and our efforts and resources be seen to be focused on the achievement of the Vision," he said. 

The Veep urged MPs to support an amendment to the Political Parties Act to ensure that MW2063 gets the necessary backing and that all arms of government adhere to the vision.

"I trust that Honourable Members will support this Bill to ensure that MW2063 gets the necessary institutional backing," he said.

He said MW 2063 is an important blue print in developing the country as it is focused on three pillars of Agricultural Productivity and Commercialization, Industrialization and Urbanization.

Chilima disclosed that in the next weeks he will hold consultative meetings with stakeholders in the agriculture sector on how to achieve agricultural transformation as envisaged in the MW2063.

"It is, therefore, imperative that the Agriculture sector be transformed by productivity upgrades through modern agronomic practices and commercialization where agriculture is treated as a business and not merely a survival and default activity," he emphasised. 

On industriasation, the Veep said the government will table a bill to create a statutory development corporation to spearhead industrialization.

On mining, Chilima said a new bill proposing the creation of a Mining Regulatory Authority to bring sanity and orderliness to the sector will soon be tabled in the August house. 

"I hope members of these two Committees will support this Bill when it comes to Parliament," said Chilima.

The Veep said the government is treating mining as the main sector for achieving Malawi’s structural transformation, and implementation of MW2063.

"The Government is currently reviewing the legal standing of a State Mining Company that was registered to promote mining and represent Government interest in strategic mining operations. I hope Honourable Members will support the funding for this company when they are presented for appropriation," he pleaded.

Chilima said it is important that Malawians and their representatives in Parliament commit to move forward and leave no room for policy reversal or going back on what the nation agreed in Malawi vision 2063.