- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this yearвЂ™s budget is the first to be based on the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP). The underlying philosophy of the MPRSP is empowerment. Rather than seeing the poor as helpless victims in need of handouts, the MPRSP sees them as masters of their own destinies. What the poor need, therefore, are not handouts but empowerment.
- I am reminded, Mr. Speaker, Sir, by the fact that in our traditional custom, upon a young man getting married, gifts include a hoe, a bow and an arrow, implying that the newly wed is empowered to fend for himself and his family. This is what is required. Handouts will simply create dependency on the part of our people. The MPRSP activities reflected in this Budget are, therefore, intended to create the conditions for the poor to reduce their own poverty.
- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the MPRSP is not an additional or separate poverty fund. Rather, it is a tool for ensuring that all Government expenditure is poverty focused, and that all expenditure by co-operating partners is in line with Government objectives. Ultimately, the objective is that the Government implements only the MPRSP.
- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that Government has been implementing since 1995 will become an important tool in the design and implementation of the MPRSP. It will also aim to improve the predictability of funding, so that the delivery of key services is not undermined by unpredictable cash flows. Finally, and most importantly, a number of measures will be introduced to further strengthen financial accountability systems. This will include imposing strong sanctions on Controlling Officers who do not comply with budgetary regulations.
- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the MPRSP will only be a dream indeed if massive injections of financial resources from the developed world are not forthcoming. Further, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Malawi will require substantial financial resources, again from the developed world. It is in this spirit that Malawi subscribes to the ideals of New Partnership for AfricaвЂ™s Development (NEPAD). As Honourable Members might be aware, NEPAD is a holistic, comprehensive integrated strategic framework for the socio-economic development of Africa. It provides a vision for Africa and how to attain it, and calls upon the rest of the world to partner Africa in her own development on the basis of her own agenda and program of action.