13 December 2017
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PRESS RELEASE: Progress on Public Sector Reforms - Implementation and Milestones Achieved

Written by  Malawi Government

“MAKING MALAWI WORK”


The Government of Malawi continues to implement Public Sector Reforms launched by His Excellency the President on 11th February 2015. The reforms are supposed to effectively
transform Malawi through effectiveness, efficiency and high-level professionalism.

Government will continue updating Malawians from time to time on milestones that continue to
be achieved in the implementation of the public sector reforms so that Malawians are effectively
appraised.

As government has stated before, the Public Sector Reforms Agenda is being implemented
across all sectors. In all 17 Ministries, 56 Statutory Corporations and 35 Local Councils.
Below are some of Milestones that have been achieved in 2017:

1. Reforms in Business and Trade
The recent publication of the World Bank’s “Doing Business Report” has applauded Malawi for
commendable reforms in improving its business climate.

According to the yearly publication of rankings Malawi has moved 23 steps upward from position 133 to 110. These reforms relate largely to bureaucracy, such as how easy it is to obtain
credit, register a business, getting an electricity and water connection among others.

The positive register of Malawi move 23 steps is a result of government’s deliberate efforts to reform the business sector.

Notably in 2016 – 2017 financial year government passed the following laws:

- The Credit Reference Bureau (Amendment) Act (2016)
- The Insolvency Act which will complement with the Companies Act of 2013
- The Electronic Transactions Act (2016)
The direct result of these laws among others is the leaps Malawi has taken in the Ease of doing business barometer.

2. Energy Sector Reforms
In 2017, government finally split ESCOM into two companies. ESCOM as an Energy distribution
company and EGENCO as an Energy generation Company. This is the first time government has taken this step in 50 years.
- The idea is to finally allow other players in the energy market to plug into national
electricity grid. This effort will mean that Malawi will finally be able to have multiple
sources of energy suppliers and not just depend on one hydro source as is the case
currently.
- Without government undertaking this reform area, as well as enacting the Electricity (Amendment) Act 2016, the current efforts and plans to expand the national grid would not have been possible.

- Government recognises that energy sector investments that it has started to undertake
and continues to undertake in the light of this enabling environment that it has created take longer than people would want. However Malawians must know that the government is doing all it can so that this sector expands and that the current challenges of low water levels and therefore low power output become a thing of the past in the medium and long term by opening the market to other independent power producers and therefore remove the element risk of over reliance on hydro as the dominant source
of energy.
- Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact
In addition to the above Malawi is on course to qualify for a second Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC) energy compact, a 2018 MCC scorecard has shown. MCC scorecards are
comprised of 20 indicators measuring policy performance in the areas of economic freedom,
investing in people, and ruling justly, and are used to determine new beneficiaries for the
program.

The US Embassy says in a statement released this November that Malawi has continued to pass
MCC’s scorecard by meeting the requirement of passing at least half of the 20 indicators overall.
According to the scorecard, Malawi has performed well on indicators such as trade policy, land
rights and access, government effectiveness, access to credit control of corruption and democratic rights.
The indicators where Malawi has scored will are all reforms areas, which coincidentally have also boosted the ratings on the World Bank Doing Business Report.

3. Education Sector Reforms
Through the Public Sector Reforms government through the UNIMA Council has taken the bold
decision on 10th July 2017 to delink UNIMA.

This is part of government reform agenda to
restructure institutions to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and institutional growth. The
unbundling / delinking of UNIMA will automatically increase the number of Public Universities in the country, encourage growth and greater independence on the part of the Universities, increase competition and the same time create complementarity. In delinking UNIMA, government expects high standards of academic leadership, financial independence, strong
research and world-class academia. On 6th November 2017, The President, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika reconstituted a task team which he mandated to oversee the process of delinking the University.

4. Public Service Management Reforms
Government has taken bold steps to revitalise, rejuvenate the public service through
I. Developing the first ever Public Sector Reforms Policy and the first ever Public Service
Management Policy, which are now in the final stages and will be submitted to cabinet for
consideration in 2017.

II. The Public Sector Reforms Policy will institutionalise the reform agenda so that it become part of the fabric of running government business to provide strategic direction for the effective design, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of public
sector reforms.

III. The Public Service Management Policy will also be the first one of its kind and will provide guidance among other things with regards to framework for entry, deployment, development, and promotion of deserving officers, staff welfare, and efficient and effective management of resources, access to services, information and ethical conduct. It will also outline the public service modernization agenda in a digital world.
 
IV. Both Policies will provide guidance for the Amendment of the Public Service Act, the
Malawi Public Service Regulations (MPSR) to be undertaken in early 2018.

V. Establishment of the Malawi School of Government (MSG)

As stated before Government has embarked on a capacity building programme in order to enhance leadership and management skills for the effective management of government institutions through the establishment of the Malawi School of Government.
The following key actions have been undertaken in this respect:
a) Legislative framework for the Malawi School of Government (MSG Bill) has been
drafted and will be presented to Parliament soon.
b) Malawi Government is working with development partners to upgrade the standards of the school through creation of cutting edge syllabus for training uplifting the two campuses (Mpemba and MIM) so that they carry state of art IT
based infrastructure for learning.

5. Inclusion of the Reform Agenda into the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MGDS III)
The now approved Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III has positioned the Malawi Public Sector Reforms agenda as one its four critical assumptions for its success. The Malawi 5 Year Development Plan for the next five years recognises that in order for the development plan to be successful one of the factors is the deepening of the public sector reforms agenda through
the its 4 entry pillars of Public Service Management Reforms, Institutional Restructuring,
Recapitalization, Transformational Programming. This effectively means government has strategically shifted from reforms being a mere agenda to institutionalising the same in its 4 development programme through the 5 year development plan and soon the reforms will become a policy of the government of Malawi.

6. Conclusion
The office of the President and Cabinet through the Public Sector Reforms Unit remain grateful for the enthusiasm that continues to be shared by all public sectors in ensuing that transformation truly happens and that the Vision of the President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is effectively met. The PSRMU continues to be also being grateful to the development partners for their support in implementing the reforms.

Seodi White
Chief Director
PUBLIC SECTOR REFORMS MANAGEMENT
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET
LILONGWE
23rd NOVEMBER 2017

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