Atupele touts job creation plans for Malawi

Malawi presidential aspirant, Machinga north east MP Atupele Muluzi, has explained his job creation proposals as one of the solutions to the economic problems  the country is currently facing.

Responding to President Bingu Wa Mutharika’s State Opening of Parliament, the 33-year-old son of former president Bakili Muluzi, offered some solutions.

He gave an interview with Weekend Nation newspaper on Saturday and maintained his tune in change agenda, saying  “we need to change our politics, change the way we create wealth and deliver services in education, health, and agriculture and infrastructure development.”

Asked how the country would create decent and sustainable employment , he responded: “My philosophy is simple. Create the demand the supply will follow.”

Atupele: Stimulating debate

He said currently Malawi has one million unemployed families looking after some four million families.

“The 1 Million unemployed families represent the demand; all we need to do is offer them the opportunity to participate in the creation of the supply. Our target as a nation must be to create 500,000 jobs within the next five years.  Mostly in construction and manufacturing industries,” he said.

Service Corps

Atupele  said he was proposing the establishment of  a National Service Corps where youths with no qualifications, tertiary education or a job would be enlisted to join the service call for up to three years — compulsory.

He said there would be a shorter programme for senior citizens if needed.

“Some of the skills obtained would be but not limited to Bricklaying, Electrical, Mechanical, Carpentry, Plumbing, Roofing, Landscaping ,” he said.

The presidential aspirant said the opportunities and benefits of a National Service Corps would be to among other things, build houses for the pensioners, the unemployable and forgotten members of society.

It will also assist in the role of security and policing; repairing roads and upgrading services; work in hospitals as nurses and aides .

Other services would be to train members in skills farming and value addition; provide services to communities in the form of security, refuse removal, cleaning the environment and steer the  youth from crime to become protectors and beneficiaries of what will be Malawi Inc.

“I propose in my plan that we create a National Business Development and Housing Programme.
Assuming that the national housing needs are some 750,000 units, a target will be to build initial 20,000 houses/annum, growing to 100,000/ annum within five years.
“Jobs will be created – direct and indirect commencing from 50,000 jobs in year 1 up to 500,000 jobs in five years.,” he said.

He said donors “can be prepared to assists” in the creation of the National Service Corps that the country can also use its own resources.

“We can utilize existing and in many cases derelict facilities as well as existing infrastructure of training colleges and military skills base. Many retired men and women would jump at the opportunity to help,” he said.

As for the National Business Development and Housing Programme, he said to ensure that it  is sustainable and does not get lost in the world’s current plague of debt, “I propose that save for initial equity raised locally and internationally (if needed), to use our own local resources to capitalize the programme.”

Stimulating debate

Asked by the newspaper reporter Frank Namangale,  if what he was articulating was part of his electoral  Manifesto, Atupele said it forms part of his job creation plan.

He said the plans were being touted now, two years ahead of elections,  “to keep our focus on long term solutions to our Nations problems. I also want to stimulate debate. Perhaps even feedback to see how we can make improvements.”

Atupele said “ If acceptable to Malawians perhaps we could come up with some home grown solutions as we move in this new direction of change and our country’s long term agenda.”

On short term problems like forex and fuel, Atupele said “and one way they can be resolved is to improve our relations with our bilateral partners.”

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