AfDB-Drafted Country Strategy Helps Malawi Advance Agricultural Sector

Malawi has made significant progress in its agricultural sector, aided by a country strategy developed by the African Development Bank. The 2018-2022 strategy has also supported progress in the transport sector, according to the mid-term review approved on April 4 by the Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank Group in Abidjan.

The Country Strategy Paper, approved by the Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank Group in June 2018, is based on two pillars: investing in infrastructure development through energy and transport, and investing in economic transformation. by the added value in agriculture and the development of hydraulic infrastructures.

Regarding the second pillar, the mid-term review of the strategy highlights the transformation of the Shire Valley, which is currently underway. By mid-term, some 250 young agricultural entrepreneurs had been trained, 10,000 people had had access to agricultural credit and 12 small agricultural enterprises had been established. A total of 8,000 new irrigation projects have been started. The Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Project and the Emergency Recovery and Resilience Program following Cyclones Idai and Kenneth are expected to be completed this year.

In terms of economic diversification and improved business climate, by 2020 the strategy had resulted in the training of 1,000 small farmers and provided agricultural extension services. It has also enabled the processing of more than 2.28 million transactions via a digital payment platform and obtained three VISA and Mastercard certifications.

With regard to the first pillar and the improvement of transport infrastructure, the fourth phase of the multinational project for the development of the Nacala road corridor is underway. The project aims to upgrade the road between Nsipe and Liwonde (55 kilometres) and create a one-stop border post between Malawi and Zambia (completed in 2021), while a one-stop border post between Malawi and Mozambique is expected to be completed by 2023. A significant achievement was the completion of two projects in the transport sector: the resurfacing of the road between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay (47 kilometers) and the renovation of the road from Liwonde to Mangichi (75 kilometers).

Lana T. Arthur