The Minister of Finance Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, had a financial boost amid resource constraints when, yesterday, he signed on behalf of government a total of K25.7 billion grant agreements with the European Union and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The EU made available 33 million Euros (about K20 billion) for the skills and technical education programme while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted Malawi US$10 million (about K5.7 billion) for information management system.
Through the EU support; four technical colleges, three trade testing centres and 10 skills development centres will be rehabilitated while the Polytechnic will receive equipment and rehabilitation.
“If the large young population of Malawi is educated and receives quality skills training it will allow them to enter the workforce and make a decent living for themselves and their families. In turn, they will contribute to the national development by paying taxes, setting up small enterprises, consuming goods and services and by participating actively in society,” said the EU Head of Delegation Marchel Gerrmann.
The programme will focus on expanding access to technical training through rehabilitation, furnishing and equipping of 20 rural skills development centres and community colleges, as well as four technical colleges.
About 15,000 youth will benefit through access to technical education from the four year programme while 3,200 graduates will receive start up tool kit.
Minister of Labour and Man power Development who was present at the signing ceremony said the assistance will help the efforts of youth empowerment through vocational training assuring that there will be prudence in the use of funds during the implementation.
Meanwhile, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation programme officer Martin Gross said the US$10 million grant will help about 10 hospitals, mainly in the Southern Region, to improve their information systems on HIV and Aids.
“The programme will strengthen Malawi’s health information systems, and enhance the capacity of the government to use data to improve planning, management and delivery of critical HIV/Aids programmes,” he said.
Specifically, he said, the project will support an up to 12 month inception phase of this effort, and enable the government to establish governance structures and project Implementation Unit, to finalise implementation plans, and to identify optimal partners to support a subsequent implementation phase.
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