COUNTRY STATEMENT ON SOCIAL SECTOR PROGRESS DELIVERED BY THE MINISTER OF GENDER, YOUTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES, HON. MRS MARY KAPHWELEZA BANDA, M.P.
AT THE SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OUTCOME OF THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT HELD IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND FROM 26 - 30 JUNE, 2000
It is a great honour for me to participate in this very important conference and to present to you, on behalf of the Malawi Government and people of Malawi a Statement on the efforts we have made and are making towards the development of the Social Sector since the World Summit for Social Development was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in March, 1995. Before I do so, allow me to thank the Government of Switzerland for hosting this important conference.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
economy is Agriculture based with 80% of the labour force working in
this sector. This sector accounts for 62% of the country's total exports.
Poverty is rampant in Malawi with over 60% of the population below the
poverty line. There is also high gender
imbalance with women who constitute 51 % of the population experiencing
extensive socio-economic problems. The poverty situation in Malawi is
This situation has been
compounded by the HIV/AIDS epidemic which has been estimated to affect
14% of the population.
let me briefly explain the progress that Malawi has achieved under each one of these commitments since the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen.
In creating an enabling environment for social development, the Government of Malawi has, since embracing the multiparty democracy in 1994, implemented political and institutional reforms to ensure that its young democracy is insured and protected. In this regard the government has created institutions to further this cause and these are:
is also reviewing a number of laws to ensure that they are in line with
the current political environment. In the same vein, the government
policy of decentralization has included the masses at grassroots level
wide spread poverty, the Government set up the Poverty Alleviation program.
In 1995 the Government came up with the policy Framework Paper for Poverty
Alleviation. As part of the Poverty Alleviation Program implementation,
strategy undertaken in addressing poverty is the setting up of the Malawi
Social Action Fund.The Government with Donor assistance has instituted
safety nets as a means for poverty reduction. There are also credit
programmes for the rural poor managed by both Government, NGO and the
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,Malawi's health plan will cover several policy objectives including:
The Government's policy on education comprises 8 years of formal primary education, 4 years secondary and 4 years tertiary education. To meet this goal the following sector reforms have been instituted:
In a bid to honour national and international obligations to alleviate social exclusion, the Malawi Government has developed various mechanisms that promote human rights, and protection of vulnerable groups. Some of the mechanisms are :
The Malawi Government has also made significant strides to mobilize resources for Social Development. Some notable strategies adopted are as follows:
Let me now dwell briefly on the problems and future prospects for social sector progress in Malawi. While the Malawi Government has put in place various mechanisms to advance social sector development there are several problems which are detrimental to the fulfillment of these commitments. And some of the notable ones are:-
Let me conclude by placing on record that the Malawi Government is fully committed to creating an enabling environment for social progress, Poverty eradication, the promotion and attainment of universal quality of education and health, social integration and the mobilization and efficient utilization of resources for social development.Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention.