World Bank supports job creation, economic growth in Malawi through Country Partnership Framework
05-05-2021 08:37:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 3993 | Tags:

The World Bank discussed the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Malawi, which supports the creation of more jobs, the strengthening of human capital, and supporting foundations for economic growth and accountability. The new CPF will guide the World Bank Group’s work over the next five years in support of Malawi’s national priorities as set out in Malawi Vision 2063.

“COVID-19 has slowed our economy. Investments are needed that can stimulate economic recovery and to our vision of reaching lower-middle-income status by 2030. This requires a solid foundation – and we are very optimistic that over the next five years the World Bank Group will help us to strengthen those foundations by supporting our reform agenda and investing in key sources of growth,” said Felix Mlusu, Minister for Finance, Malawi.

The CPF has three strategic focus areas: (1) bolstering foundations for growth and accountability; (2) promoting private sector-led jobs and livelihoods; and (3) strengthening human capital development. In addition, digital development and women’s empowerment are integrated as cross-cutting themes. The CPF is informed by extensive consultations with a broad range of stakeholders in Malawi including government, civil society, and development partners.

“Our program will consolidate World Bank Group investments where we can make an impact: particularly in opening new opportunities for commercial agriculture and in ensuring women are empowered to participate fully in the economy,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. “This is a pivotal moment for Malawi and the World Bank Group is renewing its support for the country. We welcome the renewed focus on tackling governance challenges. Strengthening of accountability and transparency is a foundation for growth.”

The CPF comes at a time when lives and livelihoods are impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The CPF will support Malawi’s COVID-19 health response and enable affordable and equitable access to vaccines in the immediate term and to support health systems strengthening in over the medium term. The CPF will also guide the Bank’s support for a resilient recovery, through continued support to Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Program and to the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

“As part of the World Bank Group, IFC works closely with the Government of Malawi to support Malawi Vision 2063,” said Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa. ”Our advisory and investment services will focus on developing renewable energy and ICT infrastructure, increasing agricultural productivity, and supporting crop diversification, and boosting inclusive finance. This will be crucial to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support Malawi’s long-term growth.”

While leveraging the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and International Development Association (MIGA) and International Development Association (IDA) instruments to catalyze private investment in select transformational investments, the CPF recognizes the importance of strengthening the coordination with Malawi’s other development partners to help combined efforts reach scale.

“Through deeper collaboration across the World Bank Group, MIGA will work with private investors by applying its de-risking instruments to mobilize cross-border investment over the CPF period to boost job creation, productivity and growth in Malawi as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Merli Margaret Baroudi, Director for MIGA Economics and Sustainability.

The World Bank’s current IDA portfolio for Malawi includes 18 national projects and five regional investments with a net commitment value of $2.05 billion. Project objectives range from strengthening access to energy and finance, supporting the commercialization of agriculture as well as supporting Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Program. The active portfolio will serve as a primary basis for delivering the key objectives of the CPF within its first phase, while the pipeline of new IDA investments is rolled out. Moving forward, IDA support will be directed selectively towards transformational and large-scale, growth-oriented investments, leveraging expertise and instruments across the World Bank Group.

The CPF is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group (WBG): IDA, also known as the World Bank, the IFC, which is focused on the private sector in developing countries, and MIGA, which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders.