British High Commissioner Michael Nevin has appealed to the government to be serious on the delivery of pledges as it tries to resolve challenges the country is facing.

Nevin was speaking on Wednesday night during Queen Elizabeth II’s 87th birthday party in Lilongwe.

While noting strides that are being made in such areas as agriculture, private sector development and many others, he said there is need to ensure delivery on the pledges the government is making.

“We must now ensure follow-up and delivery. Many people can rattle off the same list of challenges that Malawi needs to fix. But we need more seriousness to actually fix them…..making talk of irrigation and crop diversification a reality; boosting the energy infrastructure….ensuring the Central Medical Supplies Trust performs much better in ensuring drug availability in the country…. cutting waste in public expenditure by delivering on existing public financial management pledges… more transparent appointment and removal processes, all of which helps protect against executive abuse and the temptations of autocracy,” he said.

He also appealed to all stakeholders that after next year’s elections, they should meet to draw the country’s vision for the next 25 years.

“What vision and blueprint can all stakeholders agree for Malawi over the next 25 years or so, that will deliver over 6 percent sustainable growth to reduce poverty and position Malawi as one of the success stories of Africa, less donor dependent, and able to contribute fully to regional and international issues?” he said.

Nevin has since appealed for the need to change the people’s mindset.

“Malawi is at a cross-road. We urge Malawi to grasp the opportunity, to break the mould and upset the usual way of doing things. Change the perceptions of Malawi from a nice, quiet place with a warm heart to a vibrant, dynamic country, with a warm heart. Take a radical look at the traditional way of doing things and instead deliver the potential that is here. Become the country that is on everyone’s lips, that grabs international attention for the right reasons. The international community is committed to Malawi and its people; but we need Malawi to graduate from aid dependency through a vision and action plan that Malawians own, which everyone understands and works to,” he said.

Nevin said the country must lead in such a process: “Malawi should decide whether it wants to be at the crest of the African wave of growth and influence, through innovation and focus, acting with serious intent, devoid of the political culture that holds it back. If you truly lead, we will support you,” he said. – By Macdonald Thom

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