In most countries and governments in the world, there is a challenge of joblessness. Usually, job creation becomes a campaign strategy during elections. In fact, promises to create jobs attract voters for aspiring leaders. During the 2020 election, President Lazarus Chakwera and his vice, Saulos Chilima promised Malawians they would create a million jobs. This is what Malawians wanted to hear as the majority have no jobs. Joblessness in the country is not just for the uneducated. Even university graduates are just roaming about.
Meanwhile, reading in the social media, there seems to be a lot of misconception about the million jobs promised by the leadership. Some people awkwardly think government will simply line them up and dish out jobs. In fact, such a procedure cannot be found anywhere in the world, no matter how desperate people can be.
What is more sensible is government creating a conducive environment for business and in the process, jobs are created. It is obvious that both Chakwera and Chilima are working towards that by improving the Malawi economy through getting rid of corruption, stealing public resources and abuse of power.
During the six years of former president Peter Mutharika, chances of getting a job were almost blocked. The civil service is the largest employer of between 120 000 to 150 000 people. But due to nepotism by the DPP government, it became difficult to get a job if you were not one of them both at political party and tribal levels. The same was the case when giving government contracts to people.
Some people may argue that Mutharika improved the employment base for the youth in the country by introducing community colleges. This was just window dressing for the outside world. In reality, this was nothing to talk about. The intention for the training was for youths to be self-employed. But after graduating, most of them are still roaming about with nothing to do because the business start-up capital is nowhere to be seen after being promised by government. In fact, youths who go to community colleges are from very poor families and it is very naïve to expect such families to have capital for their children.
As it were, the Malawi economy during Mutharika’s time was nothing to write home about. Without a good economy, getting jobs becomes difficult. In fact, the impact of joblessness started after Muluzi’s privatisation policy. Businesses, including production factories, were closed down. Therefore, the starting of job creation requires the government to revamp production factories as well as agricultural schemes which were throughout the country. All this must be done hand in hand with stopping corruption, stealing public resources as well as abuse of power.
Malawians are known to be hard workers. Therefore, with the help of government, they are capable of starting big businesses in agriculture and manufacturing which can give jobs to people. The government must open up in facilitating big loans which with close supervision can be paid up. The usual idea of giving K10 000 loans has never worked and must not be allowed.
In Malawi, there are examples of very successful businesses. The one outstanding is that of Napoleon Dzombe, who is diversified and employs a number of people.
Finally, it is pleasing to note that both Chakwera and Chilima have started on a positive note and soon joblessness will be a thing of the pas