Organizing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into clusters has the potential to spur industrial growth if investors were well mentored and trained, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has observed.
The Chamber’s President Matthews Chikankheni made the observation on the sidelines of a closing ceremony of an Industrial Cluster training for 40 tailors in Blantyre drawn from the city’s locations and surrounding townships .
Chikankheni observed that if the country’s SMEs were organized into groups, they could handle big tasks unlike when they operate individually.
“Here we have started with tailors who have been put in one cluster but our intention is to identify SMEs from different sectors like clothing and textiles, footwear and agro-processing.
“Secondly, we need to put them in one place according to a specific sub-sector and continuously train and mentor them in the production of quality products for both domestic, intra-regional and international market,” said Chikankheni.The training involved members of southern region tailors association (SRTA) and others identified through a consultant the chamber hired to conduct an assessment on the needs of the industry.
In his remarks, President of the SRTA, Madison Dumbo hailed the training observing that it came at an opportune time when most tailors were entering the industry without proper skills.
The training which is being implemented by MCCCI in collaboration with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), cost about K4.2 million.
Among other areas, participants were drilled in designing, machine usage, garment construction and costing.