Cooperatives contributing to Malawi economic growth – Official

Assistant Registrar of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Chezani Otaniele has commended Comsip cooperative for the role they are playing in improving the country’s economy.

Project Manager for support cooperativES Joe Mlangeni addresisng the co-op’s in Lilongwe-pic by Lisa Vintulla.
Chairperson of Doroba COMSIP Cooperative contributingh during the AGM in Lilongwe-pic by Lisa Vintulla

He made the remarks Friday in Lilongwe at Comsip’s 5th annual general meeting.

The registrar said since their establishment, cooperatives have promoted the culture of savings and investment among the poor and further eased access of financial services.

He said the availability of finances within communities and various trainings that members of cooperatives undergo has resulted into many of them establishing small businesses thereby contributing to the country’s economic growth.

“I wish to emphasize that saving money and having easy access to credit on a short notice is very important. As government, it is gratifying to note that there is steady growth in saving among the affiliated primary cooperatives as well as the associated groups,” Otaniele said.

He added, “We have seen a great improvement in those working in cooperatives as a lot of them are now economically empowered and this is a way to go as a country.”

Otaniele  assured them that his office will provide all the necessary support to the exiting cooperatives while at the same time register as many as possible.

“Government will continue to promote the formation, development and revitalization of all types of cooperatives as this is critical for sustainably attaining socio-economic development through the spirit of working together, self help and empowerment.

“Within our mandate we will make sure that cooperatives are viable and provide accessible and affordable services to their members and also make sure that it is only those who formed it who benefits from,” he said.

Otaniele said government appreciated the great role that Comsip played in ensuring that many groups are formed and that those members in the groups embraces the culture of savings and investment.

Meanwhile, government is in the process of reviewing the cooperative policy and also developing the cooperative development strategy with the aim of improving the cooperative movement in the country.

Board Chair of Comsip, Canaan Gondwe said it is the wish of the Union to reach out to every Malawian and instill the culture of saving and investment.

He said at the meantime, the union has over 104,000 members working in 401 cooperatives across the country.

“Our aim is to lift people from their economic burden they are faced with and the only way to do that is by enticing them to join cooperatives. There are uncountable benefits in cooperatives and it is our hope that many will join us,” Gondwe said.

On the annual general meeting, he said the main purpose was to assess the performance of cooperatives and union as a whole in year ending and chart the way forward.

“We will also elect new office bearers and make new resolutions,” the board chair said.

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