The Government of Norway has singled out widespread corruption in Malawi as one of the reasons affecting the country’s development.
Norway’s Ambassador to Malawi, Kikkan Haugen, has said although there have been commendable results in areas such as fertility rates, child mortality and number of women who give birth in health facilities, there are a number of challenges in other areas.
“As it is now, State dominance, widespread corruption and lack of legislative reforms are some of the bottlenecks that prevent Malawi from achieving the investment friendly climate the country so desperately needs and deserves,” Haugen said.
He was speaking in Lilongwe on Wednesday night during the celebrations marking Norway’s Constitution Day.
His remarks come weeks after European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi, Marchel Gerrmann, expressed similar concerns over corruption in the country.
Haugen stressed the need for seriousness on the reforms the country is currently implementing.
“We need to see continued reform in Malawi. Many reforms have been initiated—public service, decentralisation, land reform and electoral reform—just to mention a few, but they all have a way to go before they are being fully implemented. And some reforms are still outstanding, like the reforms in the agricultural markets making them more predictable and investor-friendly,” Haugen said.
He also said he expects Malawi to continue doing more on human rights and the rule of law.
“We look forward to continue working with you on these crucial issues, and hope and expect them to be continued to be honoured as the country edges towards the next elections,” Haugen said.
He said for his country to continue investing in Malawi’s development, it has to see continued and documented good results.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila, hailed the role Norway has played in strengthening the ties between the two countries.
He said Malawi considers the partnership with the Kingdom of Norway as special considering that the two countries have always engaged in a constructive dialogue whenever there are issues in their commitments to partnership.
“Norway has been quick to work with this country whenever there are signs of regression on governance issues. This has allowed us to register the needed changes for the good of our nation, and the partnership which we enjoy,” Kasaila said.
He said the government is serious with the reforms it has been implementing since 2014.
“We believe it is only through transformative change that we can meet the aspirations of our people and continue to enjoy the confidence and support of our partners among whom Norway stands prominently. We are pleased to note the assurance of Norway’s continued support,” Kasaila said.