Malawi to invest MK1.6bn in reviving MYP bases – Minister

The Malawi government is set to pump in about MK1.6 billiion to revive the  six bases ases   of  disbanded para-military wing of the former ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and turn them into vocational skills training centres as one way of engaging the youths in meaningful vocations.

The MYP Training centres which were the source of vocational skills for the youths in the country were shelled by Malawi Army during the famous ‘Operation Bwezani’ in 1993.

During the fracas, all MYP institutions were destroyed and property worthy millions of kwachas was looted in broad daylight while hundreds of  highly productive young  pioneers were rendered jobless.

Minister of Youths, Sports and Culture Enock Chihana said during a public  rally he addressed at Masasa in Mzuzu on Wednesday that his ministry has drafted a K1.6 billion budget for rehabilitating  of the bases.

Malawi Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Enock Chihana: To rehabilitate MYP bases

According to Chihana, the two year pilot project, scheduled to commence in September 2013, is expected to rope in more than 10,000 youths into six bases to be identified in all the regions of the country.

Chihana said the fact the Youths comprised 65 percent of Malawi’s 14 million people is cause for concern for the PP led government because 40 percent of them have no jobs.

“That’s the problem we as government we are grappling with. We would want to equip these youths so that they become part and parcel of the formal economy,” the minister said.

The Minister said the six former MYP bases include; Neno, Namwera in Mangochi, Kamwanjiwa in Mzimba, Hewe in Rumphi, Chitipa and Chiradzulu training bases.

Currently, rehabilitation for Neno vocational skills centre are at an advanced stage.

He said the rehabilitated bases will be equipped with machinery and that the trained youths will be able to access soft loans and equipment as start up capital.

The Minister also said that the Youth Development Fund (Yedef) will also be used to equip the MYP bases with modern equipment.

“The idea is that if youths complete whatever skills-based course at any of the former MYP bases, they will be given start up equipment and cash so that they start their own small and medium enterprises thereby alleviate the twin problems of unemployment and poverty,” Chihana said.

Chihana said government is to review the  MYP concept with the aim of adapting it to a youth programme that will promote skills development in traditional sectors such as agriculture.

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