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FANRPAN Award: Profile of Proposed Awardee His Excellency, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika
2008


About the nominator

Name: This nomination was endorsed by 12 FANRPAN member countries: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Address: The Regional Secretariat
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
141 Cresswell Street, Weavind Park 0184
Private Bag X813, Silverton 0127
Pretoria, South Africa
Email: ;
Url: www.fanrpan.org
Telephone: +27 (0) 12 845 9100; Direct: +27 (0) 12 845 9131
Fax: +27 (0) 12 845 9110; Cell: +27 (0) 72 441 8110


About the nominee

Name: Dr Bingu wa Mutharika Dr Bingu - FANRPAN Award 2008 nominee
Dr Bingu wa Mutharika
Position: President of the Republic of Malawi
Address: The New State House,
P.O Box 807,
Lilongwe, Malawi


Key arguments for nomination

His Excellency Dr Bingu wa Mutharika deserves the FANRPAN AWARD because of the way he has brought about a unique green revolution for Malawi, a country that was characterized by chronic hunger, starvation and absolute poverty for a long time. When Dr Mutharika came into office in 2004, he declared his intention to urn Malawi into a "hunger free nation". He then went on to overhaul the country’s development policies and programmes and utilized policies to transform Malawi’s economy based on the following steps:

  1. Prioritization of agriculture and food security so as to ensure the country becomes self sufficient
  2. Prioritization of irrigation and water development so as to reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture. This includes development of viable small, medium and large scale irrigation schemes; use of treadle and motorized pumps and use of watering canes for winter cropping.
  3. Expansion and improvement of transport and communications infrastructure that would ease movement of goods, services and people within the country and provide easy access to international services such as markets, industries etc.
  4. Development of energy to cater for expanded industrialization of raw materials for value addition.
  5. Integrated rural development to bring development closer to the people in the rural areas of the country, which would in turn reduce migration from rural to urban areas.
  6. The prevention and management of HIV/AIDS as a medical, economic, political, social and cultural problem that challenges economic transformation and capacity building.
Within a period of two years of implementing these priorities, Malawi’s image has changed. The country has moved from a food beggar to a self-reliant nation. It has achieved a high rate of agricultural production and food security not just at national level but also at household levels. During the 2005/2006 crop season, Malawi realized a food surplus of over 500, 000metric tons. In 2006/2007, the food surplus amounted to 1.3 million metric tons over and above the national food requirement. Malawi is now able to export to countries in southern Africa. Incidences of hunger, starvation, malnutrition and hunger-related diseases and deaths are now history in Malawi.

Through the dynamic leadership of His Excellency Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, Malawi has seen itself transforming economically from a growth rate of less than one percent in 2003 to a phenomenal growth rate of 8.5 percent in 2006. Donor confidence in Malawi has been restored as a result of good macroeconomic policies that included unwavering stance on curbing corruption and good governance. Consequently more development partners resumed links with the country and aid began to flow back into the country. The International Monetary Fund cancelled all the debts for the country and other donors followed suit.

Dr Mutharika’s significant contribution to the Malawi green revolution and efforts to end poverty in Malawi has not only been recognized in Malawi. Many continental and global personalities have invited Dr Mutharika to share with them Malawi’s recipe for a success in this area. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and The Alliance for Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) chaired by Mr Kofi Annan former United Nations Secretary General, invited Dr Mutharika to give a keynote address to their meetings in 2007. A local newspaper - "The Nation" rated Dr Mutharika as the 2007 National Achiever.

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