Malawi Govt geared to adopt employment, labour policy- VP Kachali

Vice President Khumbo Kachali has emphasized the need for Malawi to adopt and implement the employment and labour policy if the country’s economy is to be stabilized.

The Vice President said this on Monday in Lilongwe when he opened a two-day high level national policy dialogue workshop. He said in any country, the labour force plays a crucial role in accelerating the economy as well as development.

He said since independence, Malawi has had no employment and labour policy which posed a challenge in regulating the labour market.

“Just recently I launched the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS11) and the Economic Recovery Plan, the whole idea of launching the two was to change our focus and concentrate on the sectors that would help in stimulating the country’s economy. In the MDGS11 we had mentioned of job creation as another area that could assist in bringing the economy of the country back on track.

“However, there can’t be progress if the labour market is not provided with the much needed attention and support. The policy workshop I am opening today will stimulate debate on what is needed to be done to create jobs that will promote and contribute towards improving the country’s economy,” Kachali explained.

Mohamed k Gassama International Labour Organisation Macro Economist with the VEEP at the official opening of high level national dialogue policy workshop at Cresta hotels -pic by Lisa Vintulla/Mana

The vice president noted that the employment and labour policy once adopted and implemented would enable the country achieve the middle income status by 2015.

Mohamed Gassama, International Labour Organization, (ILO) Employment Specialist said with the current economic crisis, Malawi needed reforms that would help in stabilizing the economy.

He said by creating new and decent jobs and adopting deliberate labour policies, the country is likely to recover from the economic mess.

Gassama then described the employment and labour high level policy workshop as important as would promote productive employment and decent work within the current context of economic and social reforms undertaken by the government of Malawi.

“Since 2005, Malawi economy has experienced reasonable robust Growth Development Product (GDP) growth rates averaging 6 percent per annum, which has led to the fall of the share of the population living below the poverty line from 52 per cent to 40 percent. This rise is mainly due to increased agricultural production.

“However, based on our analysis, while the share of the population living below the poverty line has fallen as a result of increased agricultural production, returns on labour in the agriculture sector constituting the major work force has fallen. Looking at this, we really need reforms that would benefit the public and enable them contribute toward the development of the country,” Gassama said promising that the ILO would help the country with both financial and technical support to ensure that the labour and employment policy is adopted and implemented by the Malawi government.

Chauluka Muwake, President of Malawi Congress of Trade Union, said Malawi as a country needed to have policies that should regulate the labour market so to open opportunities to every Malawian.

Malawi is one of the few countries that have not adopted and implemented the employment and labour policy. However, the policy workshop gives hope to many Malawians. It is expected that during the meeting, participants would discuss on the processes that could help in creating jobs.

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