Continued from last week…
Every year or once or two years’ time we used to have a World Bank team here, coming to advise us on what to do, policy wise, what we should be doing and what not to do as an independent country.
We followed them religiously and we always looked forward to these young men coming into Malawi to advise us and we took them so seriously young as they were.
I, therefore, would like to say that we have benefited a lot from the World Bank [as the Government of Malawi and Malawians]. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the World Bank for a lot of things they have done for us because without walking with us, a number of things that we have done in Malawi would not have been done.
I would like to say that you will continue to find very willing partners to run with you, because running with us will not probably be an advantage to you, but will be an advantage to ourselves and the people that we serve.
The question is will we, this time, do better in the next 50 years than we did before? I would like to say that there are things that we have to do much better. In particular, things that we have not done well and not probably as prepared as we were before is the importance that we attach to discipline, the importance that we attach to the value for money that you have to work hard in order to get it and the importance that we attach to self-restraint.
I think that you can have as beautiful policies as you like, you can have the best government that you like, you can have the World Bank advising you, but if you lack discipline you will not make it.
I am not in the habit of talking about Cashgate, but instead of us burying our head in the sand and getting very, very embarrassed that Cashgate happened here, we can take a bold determination and say enough is enough, we will by now take Cashgate to be a spring board and do the best that we can by making a number of changes.
For this, we need a very dedicated civil service, we need a selfless civil service. As a matter of fact, we, who were there in 1964, we were absolutely convinced that this country was going to make it because we were there. We were going to do it, the best that we can, we were going to make sure that where it is necessary to do our best, we will do our best regardless.
I hope that this spirit could now be resuscitated and with the World Bank walk the talk and do the best.
I would like, on behalf of Malawians, to tell the World Bank and to tell our Development Partners, that out of the reforms we are doing; I suspect very much that we will walk and run with them for the good of our country particularly the poor in the rural areas.
I could say a lot of things, but I’d like to end with saying that the World Bank has shown that they can be extremely useful to us and extremely friendly in the work that they do with us.
And I would like, as a Malawian, as a representative of Malawi now, to assure them that if they are going to run, so will we. And that this time we will make doubly sure that the results that we are going to achieve are worthy of Malawi.
It would [serve a good purpose] for those who have gone, leaders, I can mention a lot. You know what I mean. They must be really really turning in their graves when they hear that regardless of what they thought their country was going to turn into the verdict is that Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world.
It must be very disappointing to them. Let us try to see to it that the next 50 years will be made use of. And I am quite certain that this is going to be so.
With these few remarks, I would like to wish the World Bank and ourselves the best of the next 50 years.
Thank you very much!!!