By Erik Chiputula:
President Lazarus Chakwera has described the newly-signed US$ 350 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) 2nd compact for Malawi as key to unlocking the country economic growth.
On Wednesday Chakwera and finance minister Sosten Gwengwe signed on behalf of the people of Malawi the new compact with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Among others the new compact will focus on infrastructure development with roads construction in specific.
Speaking after signing the deal, Chakwera said once fully implemented the new compact will help unlock Malawi’s economic opportunities with its neighboring countries.
“This is a very important program for Malawi and attests not only to the long-standing cordial relations between Malawi and the United States, but also to the progress Malawi has made in recent months to meet the exacting standards of the MCC Scorecard on the policies we have implemented for the advancement of governance, economic freedom, democracy, people centered investments, and the fight against corruption,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader highlighted that the second compact has come at a time his administration is fostering private sector growth by creating a conducive operating environment.
“The MCC second compact for Malawi comes at a very opportune time as it will augment my government’s efforts to create a conducive environment for private sector growth, especially to benefit smallholder farmers in rural areas,” he said.
Chakwera has since expressed optimism that the new compact will enhance regional integrational within the SADC region.
“As the immediate past Chairman of SADC, I believe that enhancing regional integration with our neighbours through foundational infrastructure such as rail and roads will have phenomenal economic benefits as safe and reliable rail and road transport investments will certainly help reduce barriers to growth and create opportunities for our peoples. In our case as a land linked country, securing a reliable and inexpensive link to the sea would de-risk our economy.”
In his remarks, Blinken has pledged his country’s commitment towards Malawi’s socio-economic development by investing in key sectors like infrastructure development.