PRESIDENT Joyce Banda Wednesday told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that her vision is to transform Malawi into one of the fastest growing African economies in the next decade.
"My vision, specifically, is to transform Malawi to become one of the fastest growing African economies in the next decade. For me, growth is not merely GDP growth. Growth is about wealth and prosperity for all, opportunity for all, happiness for all, political and economic freedom for all," stated Banda in her maiden speech at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
She said she would like to eradicate poverty through economic growth and wealth creation and make Malawi become one of the fastest growing economies on the continent.
"Malawi aims to create wealth by transforming the structure of the economy, promoting the private sector in order to achieve economic growth, accelerate job creation and protect the vulnerable and the excluded within a decentralised and democratic environment," Banda said.
She said in the next two years, her cabinet has identified three key elements for national development which include creating a conducive environment for investors, boosting the energy sector and thetransport network.
"These projects range from completion of essential roads and rail lines, to setting up alternative energy sources, undertaking business climate reform to attract investment into agro-processing and mining.
These will set our country on a path of fulfilling its full potential," she said.
Banda said Malawi refuses to accept what others may consider to be her destiny that is, being a state of underdevelopment and will need the help of the international community to remove this tag through development.
"Malawi will continue to need global support in the short and medium term. We need this support to protect the rural poor from food shortages caused by prolonged dry spells in some parts of the country.
"Malawi is looking for partnerships to build its energy capacity.
Malawi needs support to attract private investment for the rich potential we have in agro-processing and mining, among others. We are looking for partnerships to support the development of our transport and c o m m u n i c a t i o n s infrastructure in order to improve the market access to markets," Banda said.
Banda said most conflicts in the world are a result of frustrations that come about due to poverty and lack of opportunities.
She urged countries to solve conflicts amicably to avoid the devastating effects of military engagements.
"These conflicts have a devastating effect on the lives of millions, especially women and children. The impact of these conflicts goes beyond the people directly involved as they affect the region and the world.
"The biggest threats to security and peace are poverty, lack of opportunity and lack of hope," she said.
On reforms in the UN, Banda said Malawi supports the expansion of the UN Security Council and that Africa should have two permanent seats and five non permanent ones due to its size.
"Africa makes the single largest region within the United Nations, and a very significant proportion of issues discussed in the Security Council concern the African continent," she stated.
Banda inherited an economic in a crisis following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika in April.
However, her policies including the devaluation of the kwacha and its floating have attracted public outrage as the economy bites with rising prices of basic goods and services