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Lazarus Chakwera launches job creation initiative

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By Deogratias Mmana:

President Lazarus Chakwera has launched the Presidential Initiative on Job Creation, which stands on five pillars aimed at creating conducive environment for the private sector and business community.

The pillars include enabling environment for agro-business; stronger partnership with the private sector; tackling the barriers to small and medium enterprises; building the infrastructure needed to support jobs and supporting the youth to participate in the economy.

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In his address, Chakwera challenged the private sector to identify barriers that affect their sector and report the same to the Presidential Delivery Unit.

He pledged to remove such barriers so that the private sector is able to create jobs.

“Removing those obstacles is government’s responsibility and it begins here with my declaration that my administration will engage the private sector as partners,” said Chakwera.

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The President challenged the private sector to report to the Presidential Delivery Unit any government official or politician who is bringing obstacles to the sector.

Said Chakwera: “In fact, if you are a private sector player and see any individual or any institution in my administration being an obstacle to your ability to start a business or do business, I urge you to report such to my Delivery Unit so that I can address it, including the complaints many Malawians have registered about how hard and politically biased the process of accessing Neef [National Economic Empowerment Fund] loans is becoming.”

Chakwera admitted that his government has failed to create one million jobs in the first year of his administration but hoped that the private sector would help government in that direction.

“What is honest to say is that although we have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the agriculture, health, education, construction, and business sectors, we have not reached our target of 1 million jobs in the timeframe we set during the 2019 campaign season in which the conditions and our assumptions were very different,” he said.

He said under the Presidential Initiative on Job Creation, Neef and TNM have joined hands to plant seeds of investment into the fertile soil for jobs.

TNM Chief Executive Officer Arnold M’bwana said TNM has gone into partnership with Neef under four Mudziwathu pillars which include mobile penetration, financial inclusion, job creation and community development.

M’bwana said TNM would increase its mobile penetration, which is at 57-58 percent, to enable many people access its digital financial transactions.

He also said TNM will plough back one percent of the proceeds from the transactions under Mudziwathu to the communities for infrastructural development projects.

Neef Board Chairperson Jephther Mtema said people will be able to repay Neef funds using TNM’s Mpamba.

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