President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday said youth and women empowerment is the key to social-economic development of the country and wants to empower them to be drivers of change with the launch of K13 billion loans by government finance company, Malawi Enterprises Development Fund Limited (Medf).
Speaking at launch of the loan scheme at Mount Soche in Blantyre on Wednesday, Mutharika said the country can only achieve its goals and vision through women and youth empowerment.
“We can only achieve our vision if we empower youth and women to be drivers of change. No country can develop without youth and women participating in the economy,” said the Malawi leader.
He said loans are for “every youth, every woman, everywhere.”
Stressed Mutharika: “ These loans are for all Malawians in every distric.”
He added: “Under this program, we want more women and youth to participate in the economy so that we achieve community development, minimize wealth inequalities and improve lives in Malawi.”
The President also acknowledged that most of the youths and women in the country are hard workers but they lack capital to set and expand their business hence the need to give them loans.
“Most youth and women are very hard-working people. What we need is to give them capital for them to grow their businesses and create new wealth. These are hard-working Malawians supporting our lives every day.
“There are many young people and women who graduate from community technical colleges in order to establish new businesses and industries. They have skills. But they need financing,” said President Mutharika
President Mutharika called upon other political leaders in the country to emulate the gesture of empowering youth and women rather than using them as agents of violence.
“Let me call upon political leaders in this country to join me in empowering youth and women to improve their lives. Let us rebuild lives of the people. I make this call particularly after the last few months of political violence, looting shops, frustrating people’s businesses and creating poverty for the people.
“Let us not exploit the poverty of young people and women by inciting them to violence. I know politicians and civil society groups who have been paying the youth to break shops, loot shops and kill businesses for other people.
“Let us not turn Malawian youth into a generation of criminals. I want the youth of this country to be a decent people who are responsible and self-dependent,” appealed President Mutharika
Women and Youth Loans Programme by the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDEF) aims at empowering the youth and women by providing them with loans to start small scale business.
MEDF chairperson, Patrick Chilambe underscored the need for beneficiaries to pay back their loans in order to rotate the facilities to other beneficiaries.
“Without repayments and without these loans performing, MEDF will have nowhere to go in terms of getting enough resources to extend credit to a wider community,” he said.
Chilambe said that in order to ensure loan repayment, MEDF has put emphasis on changing the culture of beneficiaries.
“That’s why for every loan that is extended to the group, efforts are taken to inculcate a saving culture to the group.
“It also includes some training on basic financial literacy so that they are able to maintain records of account and book keeping records,” the Chairperson said.
Under the youth and women enterprise loans, the youth can access Maziko meant for start-ups and Katswiri for those who are already in business but needs a boost.
For women who wants to start-up businesses, there is Chiyambi while those already in business but needs a boost can access Titchukume.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :