By Isaac Salima:
The Ministry of Labour has asked the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in product improvements as a way of complimenting government’s agenda of creating a million jobs.
Minister responsible, Ken Kandodo, made the remarks Wednesday in Blantyre after engaging MBS officials as part of consultation on job creation, where they discussed issues affecting growth of SMEs.
“There were concerns by some SMEs on services being offered by MBS. As you are aware, MBS certifies all products sold on the market, some people were complaining that MBS take time to certify products which is affecting growth of small businesses. So we have discussed on how best we can help the SMEs to grow,” Kandodo said.
He further asked MBS to help SMEs produce quality products which can compete on the market.
The meeting also tackled ways of addressing concerns of counterfeit and smuggled goods which are said to be impeding the growth of small businesses.
MBS Director General, Symon Mandala, said they will sensitise the SMEs on the need to have their products certified.
“Some SMEs do not see the need to have their products certified and when they go on the market they are asked if their products are certified by MBS.
“It is when they come back to us and want all the processes to be completed within a short period. So we are going to help them in capacity building so that the SMEs do not have issues with certification,” Mandala said.
On Monday, Kandodo also engaged leather processing firms where he encouraged them on the need to have their products certified.
This is a final round of consultations before the ministry releases a document on job creation strategies.