The Irish government has bailed out Malawi local councils with information computer technology (ICT) equipment worth K75 million, a development that will ease workload among the councils.
Among others, the councils will not be able to easily salary sheets on the computers donated.
At the handover ceremony in the capital Lilongwe, Irish Ambassador to Malawi, Gerald Cunningham, said he hoped that the equipment distributed will contribute “positively” towards the improvement of local councils.
The donated comprised 10 laptops, 22 desktops and a vehicle.
Minister of Local Government, who officially received the donation, said the equipment will boost the capacity of councils.
He said: “Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III recognizes that ICT forms the backbone of business activity, productivity trade and social advancement. The importance of ICT cannot be overemphasized and I therefore consider this donation timely.”
While presenting his letters of credence to President Peter Mutharika at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe last year Irish Ambassador promised to widen cooperation between the two countries.
Cunningham said there were other opportunities that the two countries had not ventured into that would strengthen the bilateral relationship, giving an example of humanitarian responses.
He added that communities needed to build resilience to annual natural disasters through livelihood programmes.
Within the livelihood program enhancement, he revealed that Irish Aid would be expanding the social cash transfer schemes to two more districts in the country, adding that plans were there to extend the social cash transfer to all the districts in the country.
He said another area that Ireland and Malawi could benefit each other is the area of agriculture and nutrition.
He said Ireland is working in the area of agricultural research, citing that Ireland had serious famine in the past and because of that Ireland encourages crop diversification by planting crops like pigeon peas, sorghum, millet to increase its use in food production, and tuber crops such as sweet potatoes and cassava.
Another area he said Irish government would explore more into is that of human rights and accountability.
Some of the district to benefit from accelerating inclusive local governance and participatory democracy for effective social and economic development include Chitipa, Rumphi, Nkhatabay, Karonga, Nkhotakota and Mchinji.
Ireland has over the few years been one of the fundamental partners to the Malawian government in its effort to build the country’s resilience to chronic weather that causes natural disasters.
In 2017, the two counties signed a K53.8 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), mainly to be channeled towards the agricultuFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :