Government keen to improve quality and quantity of the country’s transport infrastructure

State of Nsanje-Limbe railway line 

Maravi Express

Taking cognizance that one factor that affects the productivity of any economy is its transport infrastructure and that it is well factored in the Malawi 2063 which recognizes it as a key enabler for socio-economic productivity, President Lazarus Chakwera’s Administration outlined a number of investments they are making in infrastructure development to boost economic productivity.


In his State of the Nation (SONA) address Parliament today, February 3, Chakwera says the improvement of transport infrastructure includes dualizing and rehabilitating sections of the Lilongwe-Blantyre M1 Road; upgrading Kenyatta Drive and Mzimba Street to six lanes and, among others, rehabilitating the M5 road from Balaka Market to Kaphatenga, Dwangwa and Nkhata Bay, which is a critical route for the sugar and rice plantations as well as tourist attractions along the lake, with support from the African Development Bank.

Other road investments include phases 3 and 4 of the Jenda-Edingeni-Manyamula-Mzimba Road and the Chikwawa-Chapananga-Mwanza Road and at the same time, the government has invested in the feasibility studies of the Mangochi-Makanjira Road and the Edingeni-Euthini-Mpherembe-Rumphi Road.

“Once those studies are completed, construction will begin,” he said. As I have stated before, our quest to fix broken systems in our land includes fixing the rail system. As such, during the 2022/2023 Fiscal Year, we will pursue the Marka-Bangula section of the railway line following its failure to start in the 2021/2022 Fiscal Year because of procurement issues, which is yet another example of state systems that are too broken to deliver development and need fixing.

The M1 road

“The same applies to the feasibility studies we were unable to do on the proposed railway line from Salima to Tanzania through the Northern region. The studies failed because of a gap in the system, for the country has had no legal framework for a BOT model for implementing such a project.

“As such, we will use this year to fix that system by ensuring that the Public, Private Partnership Commission accelerates the development of that legal framework.”

For air transport, Chakwera said his Administration has made provision for counterpart funding for the European Investment Bank financed construction of the Orton Chirwa Airport in Mzuzu whose financing for a feasibility study has been provided through a grant aid from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Mzuzu Airport

He also said the priorities the government is delivering and the systems it is determined to fix are for the benefit of Malawians, “but what we have seen in delivering these benefits is that their impact can easily evaporate if the Malawian people themselves are not capacitated and empowered to steward and enjoy those benefits in a way that is sustainable”.

A new road can lose its benefit if citizens drive carelessly on it. A new hospital can lose its benefit if citizens steal medicines from it. A new vaccine can lose its impact if citizens believe conspiracies about it.

“A new school can lose its impact if citizens keep their daughters from attending it. A new election can lose its impact if citizens are kept misinformed about Government matters.

“That is why part of fixing broken systems for delivering development priorities involves enhancing the physical, mental, and social capacity of our people.”

On health, he said this is first target of investment in human capital development where the chief culprit for poor delivery of public service is a broken system that must be fixed.

“With financing from our taxpayers and the Global Fund, we have commenced the construction of 55 of the 900 health posts I announced in September 2020, while the construction of 145 posts is set to start in the 2022/23 Fiscal Year;

“We have all but completed the Phalombe District Hospital, and have allocated funds to start the construction of a new Chikwawa District Hospital in the coming year, as well as conduct feasibility studies for new district hospitals in Rumphi and Dowa;

“We have recapitalized Central Medical Stores Trust with MWK12.5 billion to prevent it from collapsing under the weight of arrears worth MWK17.5 billion caused by the abuse of the previous Administration, and we will continue clearing those bills in the coming Fiscal Year, while also preventing future abuse by debarring suppliers who defraud Government from doing any business with the Central Medical Stores;


“We will continue digitizing the entire health supply chain under the Master Supply Chain Transformation Strategy (2021-2026);

“We will continue our fight against COVID-19 through the administration of around 1.5 million vaccine doses we expect to receive in the first quarter of 2022, building on the successful administration of 1,864,968 vaccine doses so far;

“We have reduced the number of hospitalized children due to severe and acute malnutrition to less than 1%; and

“We have added 1,246 Health Care workers to the workforce in our health facilities.”


The second target for human capital development is the education sector, where efforts to build an empowered and responsible citizenry include the following:

* to implement compulsory education for our primary school going children;

* increase the number of teachers and teaching and learning materials in response to expected increase in enrolment;

* constructed 851 classrooms to expand space for our primary school learners;

* accelerated the completion of the construction of the three Teacher Training Colleges in Chikwawa, Rumphi and Mchinji;

* commenced the construction of 250 secondary schools under the Secondary Education Expansion Development (SEED) Project in partnership with the United States of America, as well as 308 classrooms, 120 teachers’ houses, 60 student teachers’ hostels and 60 administration blocks in 60 teaching practice schools in partnership with Germany;

School project under SEED

* committed to establish 34 Secondary Schools of Excellence, with Chikwawa, Phalombe, Nkhotakota, Mangochi, Lilongwe and Rumphi earmarked for the first 6;

* delinked the old University of Malawi, and are committed to provide the necessary infrastructure for the new public universities, such as LUANAR’s new Administration block and teaching complex and the School of Economics, all due for completion in the 2022/2023 Fiscal Year, while also constructing new buildings at the University of Malawi, at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, at Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, at Malawi University of Science and Technology, and at Mzuzu University; and

* partnered with the private sector to construct hostels in all public universities.

On land and housing as the third target for human capital development, Government is undertaking policy and legal reforms, including a review of the 2016 Land Laws as directed in 2020.

“As a result, the Land (Amendment) Bills are ready for tabling during this Parliamentary meeting. More practically, to improve the investment climate and ease of doing business in the country, my Administration will allocate 5,000 hectares of land to Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) for allocation to investors over the next 5 years.

“Similarly, my Administration is continuing the 5-year project of constructing 10,000 houses for our security institutions, of which 231 in phase 1 are in progress. As houses for those who protect us are progressing, we are also building houses for those most in need of protection, such as persons with albinism, the elderly, chronically ill, child-headed families, and female-headed families under the Social Housing Protection Programme.

“At Government level, my Administration plans to construct a 20-floor twin tower office building at Capitol Hill to house those Ministries that have no base there and reduce the rentals they incur. We will also continue to implement the Public Service Housing Scheme to provide mortgage loans to public servants.

“One manifestation of a breakdown in systems for land management is the proliferation of uncoordinated and unplanned development. To address this system failure, my Administration is designing the Land Information Management System (LIMS), as well as developing District Development Plans and Urban Structure Plans.

“This includes lake city plans that designate specific sections of land along the lake for major tourism investments.”

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