The Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) on Saturday lived up to its goal of economically empowering women and the youth in the country by giving out loans amounting to K5 million to Nayuchi Women Group and Ntaja vendors in Machinga.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri presided over the cheque presentation ceremony at Mbenjere Secondary School in the area of Senior Chief Liwonde in the district.
Phiri said government introduced MEDF to economically empower vulnerable groups particularly women and the youth in an attempt to reduce unemployment challenges in the country.
“It is not easy to fill all the vacancies in government and the private sector in Malawi; you cannot in any other way close the gap of unemployment in any country,” Phiri said.
“Therefore, there was need for government to find another alternative of bridging unemployment gap and that is why, President Professor Peter Mutharika decided to initiate this loan scheme,” he added.
Phiri said MEDF provides an opportunity to beneficiaries to expand their businesses and create employment opportunity to others. He therefore, urged beneficiaries of the loans to use the facility wisely and encouraged those that have benefited to pay back saying, MEDF loans operate on a revolving basis.
“This is a revolving fund, meaning one needs to get the money and after sometime repay the loan so that somebody else also gets the very same money,” he added.
Phiri, therefore, encouraged people to cultivate a saving culture, saying those who save do not find it difficult to pay back the loan.
He noted that government through MEDF and other social protection programs is doing all it can to bail out businesses especially small-scale businesses from the effects of coronavirus.
Paramount Chief Kawinga commended government for introducing MEDF to support people with soft loans, appealing to government to increase the number of people to benefit from the funds.
“Many people want to get a loan from MEDF but loan forms are not easily accessible by people in the communities. My plea is that the forms should be available to everyone who wants to get the loan,” Kawinga said.
He also thanked government for initiating the construction of Nsanama-Nayuchi Road, saying once completed people of Nayuchi will have easy access to markets.
However, Kawinga encouraged people to exercise their right to vote during the forthcoming June 23 court-ordered Fresh Presidential Election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :