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Buy Malawi Committee holds first meeting

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The committee entrusted to drive the Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) appointed by President Peter Mutharika, last month on Monday held its first ever meeting in Lilongwe.

The 17-member grouping is aimed at implementing the strategy which was launched in April 2016.

The strategy was launched in a bid to promote locally produced goods and services and encourage consumption of locally produced products.

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Responding to a questionnaire, Chairperson of the committee, Karl Chokotho, who is also president of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), said the strategy was launched, but it is yet to be implemented.

He, however, said the strategy is important for the country.

“South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and USA, just to name a few, have similar strategies in place and are reaping benefits. The Malawi industry, whether on goods or services, must be sustained and it needs the support of every Malawian.

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“Tomorrow our children and grandchildren will need jobs, but if the local industry is shrinking on our watch we will have done them a gross disfavor. We must do all to improve the quality of our goods and services to meet exportable standards,” Chokotho said.

He further said all stakeholders such as banks and the Malawi Bureau of Standards, NGOs, private sector, government and the common citizen have a role to play in the strategy.

During the meeting, the committee according to other sources, discussed the issue of funding which is crucial in driving up the strategy.

It further discussed publicity and civic education issues.

The committee also observed that some of the services especially donor driven ones need partnerships between foreign and local suppliers.

The committee also created sub committees based on sectors considering that the strategy is a big thing that covers almost all sectors.

The members of the grouping include Chief Secretary to Government, Secretary to Treasury, Secretary for Health, Director of Public procurement, Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development, Secretary for Civic Education, Culture and Community Development and Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

Also in the committee is Secretary for Labour, Youth Sports and Manpower Development, Secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Secretary for Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare, Malawi Investment Trade Centre Chief Executive Officer, Malawi Bureau of Standards Director General, Malawi Council for the Handicapped Chief Executive Officer and Chartered Institute of Marketers Malawi Executive Officer.

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