The European Union (EU) has asked the government to embrace modern technology in areas such as manufacturing industry and agriculture to improve production and job creation.
EU Ambassador to Malawi, Marchel Gerrmann, said that it is important for Malawi to emphasise technology to spur growth in manufacturing industry.
He made the remarks when he visited the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) Bangwe factory in Blantyre.
The visit was to appreciate the impact of sewing machines worth over K98 million the EU donated to the facility in March last year.
“Our priorities are tilted towards support in growth in the manufacturing industry and job creation. We want Malawi to invest in production and hence investing more in modern technology,” he said.
The EU Ambassador said he was delighted to learn that the three months that the factory has been using modern machines, production has gone up from 400 pieces to over a thousand.
“I am delighted because this is what we want, investment should come with returns and should bring change. The profits, the jobs will make a positive impact to many lives of Malawians,” he said.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Henry Mussa, said based on the success so far, the government was thinking of expanding the factory to ensure it accommodates more people who would undergo skills training.
“It is pleasing to note that all this is being done by our friends with disabilities. They are able to produce quality outfit, uniforms, embroidery and lots others in textiles and garments. We are more than willing to help them expand,” Mussa said.
Macoha partnered with Teveta which sends about 100 interns every year at the factory for skills training in tailoring.
Macoha Executive Director, Peter Ngomwa, said they have been struggling to satisfy demand from markets within and beyond as they were using archaic, manual machines with low productivity.
“We have not fully started using the machines because most of them are sophisticated but the three months we have used them revenue has jumped by 43 percent. We should also be able to create 80 more jobs when we fully start using the machines,” he said.
The support by EU is under a project called Malawi Enterprise Productivity Enhancement aimed at integrating Malawi’s products in Comesa and other regional markets.
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