The National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE) has expressed concern over failure by the communities at the grassroots level to benefit from the agreements that are signed between countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.
The development has forced NICE to embark on a campaign in the lower shire district where they are popularizing SADC regional Integration which would help the locals know the procedures they can follow to access the benefits in question.
Nsanje NICE Civic Education Officer Kondwani Malunga observed that despite member states such as Malawi pumping a lot of money into the operations of SADC most people are not aware of such agreements saying such information does not trickle to the local people.
Malunga attributed knowledge gap among local communities which he blamed on their failure to enjoy the benefits of Southern Africa Development Community regional integration.
He underscored the need for responsible authorities to ensure that people at the grassroots level are aware of the agreements that are signed so they can as well enjoy the benefits.
“Malawi as a member state has been pumping a lot of resources towards the operations of the same but it has been established that information on the agreements that are made between the countries in the region does not trickle down to the rural populace.
“The Malawi citizenry especially the rural masses have had no access to information on how they can enjoy reduced tax rates,” he explained.
Malunga said they have since embarked on SADC regional integration popularization campaign in the lower shire district where they are providing such information which would help people at the local masses know the procedures they can follow to enjoy such benefits.
Diva Billy, who hails from the area of Chief Tengani admitted to have had no knowledge on SADC issues and what Malawi benefits out of agreements signed with the community.
“I have just being hearing that there is this grouping called SADC but am yet to know what Malawi as a country has been benefiting. As a citizen, I would want to know these things and make use of them,” said Billy.