Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima has advised the National Association of Business Women in Malawi (NABW) to constantly review its national strategy in order to remain relevant to its members and to deliver on the organisation’s mission and vision.
The Vice President made the remarks on Wednesday during the launch of the organisation’s strategic plan which coincided with the official opening of the 2014 National Business Expo at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.
Chilima said member-driven organisation’s like NABW are beneficial as women involved in business are assisted in identifying, developing and implementing business and market development strategies.
“I am fully aware that the main aim of NABW is to address entrepreneurial challenges women face in the country as well as to accelerate women’s contribution towards job creation
“It is therefore pleasing that the Strategic Plan being launched today, clearly recognizes and pledges to make NABW operate within the armpit of these indispensable roles,” said the Vice President.
Chilima commended NABW for developing the strategic plan which he said will eventually help the organisation reposition itself in its operations and urged it to harness and aggregate common action towards the aspirations of the document.
“The Malawi Government has no doubt that the aspirations and obligations of NABW as outlined in this Strategic Plan will be implemented to the full.
“Going by the strategy as narrated by the chairperson, I am more than convinced that this is an obvious possibility,” he said.
In her remarks Chairperson for NABW Towera Jalakasi admitted that the prolonged spell of inactivity which the organisation has endured in the past has had negative effects on business progress of its members and operations of the organisation.
“Our development has been held back during the period we stayed inactive and it has resulted in little progress being made by business women in the country. Now with the launch of the strategic plan we want all stakeholders to recognize us again as they are executing their plans,”
Jalakasi also revealed plans by the organisation to come up with the country’s first ever women’s bank after a period of three years from now.
The strategic plan which is for a 3 year period has two main arms of development and commercial. The development part will aim at effective capacity building while the commercial arm will look at ways of making the business women sustainable.
Also present during the launch of the strategic plan was the Chief Technical Advisor for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Joseph Ajakaye, whose organisation jointly organised the national business expo.
The ILO is running a project on economic empowerment and HIV vulnerability reduction in the transport sector in six countries in southern Africa including Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Ajakaye said poverty is a strong factor which increases the vulnerability of women to risk of exposure to contracting the HIV virus and that women bear the great burden of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“There is need for a complementary strategy to strengthen the national responses and build capacities of women and their households to be able to effectively deal with the impact of the AIDS pandemic.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and welfare Patricia Kaliati said women who are economically empowered stand in good stead to take part in crucial decision making in their families like family planning issues therefore contributing in the reduction of poverty in the country.
NABW was established in 1990 as a non-profit making organisation with the sole aim of uplifting the status of women in business in the country through engaging them in various activities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :