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Ibam demands policy on SME empowerment

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Lazarus Chakwera

The Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) has urged government to come up with a policy to concretise the local small and medium enterprise (SME) directive issued by President Lazarus Chakwera two weeks ago.

Among other things, Chakwera directed all ministries, departments and agencies to give preference to the procurement of locally-made goods.

Ibam President Mike Mlombwa said while indigenous businesses are excited with the directive, there was a need for a policy paper to support the directive.

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Mlombwa said past presidents made similar directives but they failed to yield the desirable outcome because of lack of a policy statement.

“We are very excited about the directive because it clearly shows that the President has the welfare of local SMEs at heart.

“But we would like to appeal to top government officials to craft a policy to support the directive because we would not want to see a situation where years go without anything on the ground. The local SMEs have suffered a lot and we believe that time has come for the sector to develop by doing business with government,” Mlombwa said.

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In his address, Chakwera urged government institutions such as the Malawi Bureau of Standards and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute to help build the capacity of those wishing to supply locally-made goods and services to government so as to meet the required quality and quantity specifications

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