As Malawi celebrated her 51st Independence Anniversary on July 6, 2015, His Excellency, Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi addressed the nation on this auspicious occasion.
Below are the excerpts from his speech delivered at the main commemoration event marking the independence celebrations, at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Malawi on July 6, 2015.
I would like to begin my address this morning by wishing you all a happy 51st Independence celebration.
My Fellow Malawians, as we look back at the road we came for 51 years, let us also lift up our eyes to the horizon where we are taking Malawi. Contrary to those who want to look at everything negatively, I look at our past and see the road of progress. We have achieved a lot in the last 51 years. But it has been slow progress. And we are not where we should have been by now.
But, Malawi is undergoing exciting times. After 51 years of independence, we are re-making history. The whole world can see that Malawi is on the road to transformation. Only last week, hundreds of foreign investors from all over the world came to Malawi because they can see hope and opportunities. All the international and local speakers at that meeting agreed that we have a better economic outlook ahead of us.
But the economic transformation towards which we are going must benefit all <g data-gr-id="99">Malawians,</g> whether you live in town or in the village. Economic transformation must mean inclusive development. We fought for independence together. We must develop this country together. We must all be part of the economic growth.
In fact, the struggle for independence was a popular movement of the people. It took the cooperation, sacrifice and involvement of the masses for us to attain this liberty that allows us to create a greater future.
At the highest peak of nationalism, especially between 1953 and 1963, it was villagers who fought for emancipation. These were smallholder farmers labouring across the country. They were barefoot workers toiling on the railways. They were labourers plucking tea on the estates. These are the Malawians we honour in our national memory today.
Ladies and gentlemen, our road to economic transformation is very clear now. Our vision is clear. Let me outline the four things we are doing to turn around this country. First, we are creating a local business environment and attracting foreign investors to bring their money to invest in Malawi. With Direct Investment, we will undoubtedly create wealth, create more businesses for Malawians, create jobs and create a better life for all.
As I said, the response of the entire world is extremely overwhelming. Secondly, we have launched a Skills Development Programme. This is a process of creating a skilled labour to support the
industry. Wherever you go in the world, skilled labour is thrust of development. Within this programme, we are building community colleges. With this programme, we will create a skilled labour market to support the expanding Investment. We want this programme to help us create jobs for the youth and the rest of us. Thirdly, we have also undertaken serious Public Service Reforms because we must have a public service that supports our investors and serve the public efficiently. We need a public service that works, and a Malawi that works!
But above all, we have undertaken a people-centred approach to inclusive development. The Green Revolution we undertake with the Green Belt Initiative, supporting farmers with inputs and the <g data-gr-id="96">Malata</g> Subsidy programmes will ensure that this country has sufficient food and Malawians must sleep in <g data-gr-id="97">descent</g> houses. All Malawians must rise together with the economic growth that is coming. We are all moving towards a better life for all.
But there is one immediate challenge facing us all. The human factor! <g data-gr-id="93">Umunthu</g> <g data-gr-id="94">wathu</g>! This is where the problem is. We cannot do with people who are irresponsible; dishonest; lazy – <g data-gr-id="95">wanting</g> results for which you have not worked; wanting things to be done for us than us doing for others; we cannot develop Malawi if we don’t love our country! We need to be a nation of responsible and patient people. Rome was not built in a day...
Let me also take this opportunity to thank our neighbouring countries with whom we live in harmony. We are what we are today because of their support. May God bless us all and may He bless Mother Malawi! Thank you!
Compiled <g data-gr-id="100">by:</g> Patrick Mphepo, Acting High Commissioner