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World Bank approves K78 billion skills package

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RIDDELL—Investment will help Malawi’s youths

The World Bank on Thursday approved a $100 million (about K78 billion) financing from the International Development Association (IDA) to help Malawi support increased access to the skills development programme in priority areas of the economy.

Out of the package, $50 million is a grant and the remaining $50 million is credit.

The Skills for a Vibrant Economy (Save) Project is designed to provide skills development support through programmes offered in selected tertiary education institutions spanning higher education and technical, entrepreneurial and vocational education and training (Tevet), with special attention on demand-driven approaches to boost labour force skills, women’s empowerment, digital skills and technology, institutional strengthening and learning continuity.

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The project will support nine higher education institutions, seven national technical colleges, and about 30 skills development institutions. Over its lifetime, Save will benefit 45,000 university students and 65,000 technical and vocational students.

Education Minister Agnes NyaLonje said the Malawi Government was pleased to embark on the Save Project, “which will help us better prepare and support youth skills development in Malawi”, among other benefits.

“Although access to tertiary education has been increasing in Malawi, enrolment rates remain low and compare unfavourably with regional and world averages NyaLonje said.

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In a statement on Friday, the World Bank said the Save Project would establish partnerships with relevant industries and private sector entities to support skills development in priority areas such as agriculture, education, energy, health, industry and Information Communication Technology as well as updating courses and training of lecturers, professors and staff.

Deputy Labour Minister Vera Kantukule said, by supporting industry and private sector engagement, the Save Project would help ensure that policymakers focus on developing skills in priority areas of the economy.

World Bank Country Manager for Malawi Hugh Riddell said the World Bank Group (WBG)’s new five-year Country Partnership Framework is focused on promoting private sector-led job creation in line with the objectives of Malawi 2063.

“This new WBG investment will help Malawi’s youth prepare for the job market while also helping MSMEs by raising the level of skills and entrepreneurship in the market,” Riddell said.

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