Malawi to build eight new cities under new secondary cities plan

The Malawi government, through the National Planning Commission (NPC), on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 launched a Malawi Secondary Cities Plan through which eight new cities will be developed in all regions of the country in line with the country’s Malawi 2063 national vision.

The prospective cities will be built in Karonga, Nkhatabay, Salima/Chipoka, Liwonde, Mangochi/Monkey Bay, Kasungu, Luchenza and Bangula.

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Image 1: Hon. Prof. Blessings Chinsinga – Minister of Local Government

Minister of Local Government Professor Blessings Chinsinga presided over the launching ceremony on behalf of President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera. He was joined at the ceremony by Minister of Lands Samuel Kawale. Also present was Prophet Shepard Bushiri who presented plans to build a futuristic city at Monkey Bay in Mangochi, one of the sites in the Malawi Secondary Cities Plan, and other investors with existing or imminent projects on the proposed sites.

Speaking during the ceremony, Prof. Chinsinga said that Malawi was launching the plan at the opportune time when the world’s population is urbanising and wealth creation is increasingly clustering in urban areas.

He said processes of democratization and social welfare development often also find most intense expression in urban areas.

“It is, therefore, imperative that Malawi has to face the challenge of managing the urbanisation process now. Urbanisation, if well managed, facilitates sustained economic growth and thereby promotes broad social welfare gains,” he said.

Image 2: Hon. Sam Kawale – Minister of Lands

On his part, Kawale said his ministry will ensure that land is made available for all the developments under the Malawi Secondary Cities Plan.
“We are committed to provide masterplans that are modern, futuristic and attractive to investors, both local and international.
“Your Ministry will ensure that we uphold high standards development in these cities. This is the time that, as a country, we eliminate slums and instead have cities that are clean and orderly. This is a the time that, as a country, we can have cities that create employment,” said Kawale.
Chairperson of NPC Professor Richard Mkandawire described the Malawi Secondary Cities Plan as a key component of operationalizing the Urbanization Pillar of the Malawi 2063 and that it was NPC’s wish that the plan and its implementation to be sustained beyond political regimes.

Image 3: Hon. Prof. Blessings Chinsinga – Minister of Local Government & Major 1 Prophet Shepherd Bushiri

“All that Malawians want is a better quality of life and not political bickering,” said Mkandawire.
He said the choice of the eight pilot secondary cities was largely based on their potential to urbanize, levels of connectivity and the existing economic opportunities for inclusive wealth creation in those localities and that their identification followed three-year long rigorous analysis of their current and future potentialities as drivers of equitable economic growth for Malawi.

Image 4: High Level Delegates

Key stakeholders that were involved in the development of the plan include the ministries responsible for physical planning and urban development; economic planning and development; local government; natural resources; and tourism as well as the Public Private Partnerships Commission Export Development Fund, Malawi Investment and Trade Center (MITC), the Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation, the Malawi Millennium Development, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), various private sector captains and various leaders in the academia led by Chancellor College’s Geography Department.

The work was supported financial and technically by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, made through the Michigan State University (MSU) and the Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI). ORG Permanent Modernity provided technical support for the Plan’s development.

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