Chilima commends NGO board for initiating reforms

Vice-President Saulos Chilima, has commended the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Board of Malawi for being an effective regulator of  civil society sector in the country–propelled by the zeal to reform NGOs so that they are transparent and accountable and their work aligned to national development goals.

The Vice President Saulos Chilima and Minister Patricia Kaliati
NGO Board of Malawi CEO, Voice Mhone, taking notes

Chilima said this on Monday on his Facebook post after meeting top officials of the NGO Board of Malawi–who were briefing him on how the board is contributing to the reform agenda he is championing in the Tonse Alliance led government.

The officials were led by their line Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati.

The NGO Board of Malawi is a state parastatal with a mandate to register and regulate the operations of all local and international NGOs in the country.

Chilima commended a presentation by the Chief Executive Officer, Voice Mhone, saying it was detailed and informative and buttressing on the importance for the board to take its rightful role in ensuring that rules of engagement are complied-to in the NGO sector.

“The reforms that the NGO Board is implementing as well as those under proposition seek to align the socio-economic development contribution by the non-state actors to Malawi’s national development goals,” said Chilima.

The Vice President observed, for instance, that the presentation showed the NGO sector spends over one trillion kwacha annually, on average.

That, Chilima noted, is 60% of the national budget–yet there is lack of alignment due to weak governance in the NGO sector.

“It is therefore encouraging that one of the reforms the NGO Board is implementing is meant to improve regulation in the NGO sector through amendment of relevant legislation to enhance attainment of social and economic development, ” the Vice President said.

During the interface meeting, Chilima further learnt that to bolster regulation and amendment of legislation, the NGO Board of Malawi has also lined up a reform area to improve accountability and transparency in the sector.

The reform seeks to align NGO work to development plans at all levels as well as empowering Area Development Committees in districts on the operations of NGOs.

Overall, it was noted that to achieve this enforcement status–the Board has proposed to transform from its current form to become an NGO Regulatory Authority to effectively monitor and regulate operations of NGOs.

“Moving forward, we will have their reforms clearly classified as legal, governance and financial sustainability as we continue to dialogue with them especially on legislation amendment as this will clear the way for implementation of most of the reforms under proposition,” Chilima said.

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