Government of Malawi has admitted having little progress in the implementation of sustainable development goals in the country. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Development Honorable Goodall Gondwe disclosed this barely few days after the commemoration of the 2nd Anniversary of the Agenda 2030 which was held in Lilongwe at Crossroads Hotel on 25 September, 2017.
The function which was run under the theme: “Agenda 2030: Is Malawi on Track?”, was hosted by Council for NGOs in Malawi and graced by different Civil Society Organizations who among other things noted the little progress in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Malawi since they were adopted in September 2015. The CSOs pointed out various reasons that are deterring the progress of Sustainable Development Goals in which among others are lack of implementation of policies that are put in place; having too many priority areas to work on with little funds to support them within the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDs) tokenistic decentralization with unfinished devolution; increased public borrowing at local and international markets and weak public finance tracking with huge audit bulk loges.
According to the Executive Director for Non Council of Non-Governmental Organizations Ronald Mtonga, lack of implementation on most agreed policies and laws are amongst the contributing factors derailing the implementation of SDGs in Malawi.
Another contributing factor slowing down the progress of SDGs in Malawi which the CSOs noted is that people are not aware of SDGs, and many have the perception that the SDGs belong to the Government. As such, they have no interest in following up on what Government agreed to do as well as what Government is expected to achieve. As a result, it becomes difficult for people to hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
In reacting to the slow implementation of SDGs in Malawi, government through the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Development Hon. Goodall Gondwe , Said the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals require huge sums of money for the next coming years and the United Nations advised the government of Malawi to generate this bulk sum amount of money locally which cannot not happen at once.
“Where we are deficient is that this time the UN prefers that the bulk of financing of these projects should be from within Malawi and we are looking at ways of tapping resources in Malawi, I cannot say we are quite certain that this is going to be successful because the amounts that are required are very high, at the rate of about 2.5 billion for the next five years, explained Gondwe”.
The Minister however showed optimism that SDGs will succeed in Malawi as Government has engaged Development Partners to help with funding the project through grants and borrowing.
The second commemoration of Agenda 2030 is coming at a time when Malawi is experiencing increased poverty and inequality (Oxfarm 2015), accountability challenges, devastating effects of climate change and diminishing commitment towards development financing. CSOs through their coalition are thus looking forward to more close collaboration with Government on SDGs.