LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Indian High Commissioner to Malawi Suresh Kumar Menon has predicted that Malawi can move out of the list of Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) and become a middle income country in the next ten to fifteen years.
Menon whose term in office ends this month end disclosed this in an interview yesterday when asked to highlight successes of his stay in the country.
According to Menon just as India was poor seventy years ago it is one of the biggest economies in the world due to good policies, hardworking people and empowerment of the private sector.
He said.”Malawi can learn a lot from India because the country did not become one of the biggest economies in the world by chance. We had to work hard. We have been a republic for almost 70 years after adopting our constitution. We got our independence in 1947 but during the first 25 years after the adopting constitution we mainly focused on agriculture.We embarked on an ambitious green revolution so that the the country ensures food security. When agriculture had boomed and
people were food secure we shifted focus to other areas such as health, education, transport and energy.In the 1980’s we concentrated on telecommunication because of the many opportunities
the area offered.”
According to Menon, in the 1990’s the Indian government took a watershed decision giving the private sector more powers to run institutions formerly owned by government.
“We realised as government we cannot continue running businesses and we decided to give the private sector more powers in the health sector, energy, transport and even tertiary education. Government is still fully involved in primary education. This country has strong foundations and what is needed to build on the successes because it is only through that the gains can be consolidated,” he added.
On what he will take with him as successes, Menon mentioned the business incubation center in Mponela, the Blantyre Water project, the Salima Sugar Company and the fuel storage tanks.
Apart from these projects the High Commissioner also highlighted the artificial limb fitment camp at Kamuzu Central Hospital where over a five hundred Malawians received artificial limbs.
“This project will live long in my mind because these are people who never thought that one day they will be able to walk on their own.
Some were confined to where chairs while others were just crawling. Seeing a person who had never walked being able to do so, will live long in my memory,” he added.
Minister of Trade Industry and Tourism Francis Kasaila concurred with Menon that the country needs to do more to move out of poverty and become a middle income country.
“If we start producing for exports and maximize usage of our natural resources we can become a middle income country. It is possible. Besides we cannot develop with grants and donations,” said Kasaila.