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Youth, Women Loans To Enhance Economic Participation

By Yamikani Yapuwa, MANA

Malawi President Prof. Peter Mutharika has said newly launched youth and women loans programme would enable them participate in the economy therefore assisting in achieving community development, minimizing wealth inequalities and thereby help in improving lives of Malawians.

He made the remarks in Blantyre during the launch of the K13 billion Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) Youth and Women Loan programmes which would enable women and youth have access to loans.

“On Friday last week, we launched the process of deciding our vision collective for the next 40 years.  As a country, we need to see far, and think far. We need to think big, and act big. We can transform this country. And we are the people to change this country.

“However, 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,” Mutharika said.

The Malawi leader said the country has hardworking youth and women with however no access to capital hence government coming up with initiatives to provide the same.

“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.

 “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.

“There are many Malawians and farmers working hard to start local industries. But they need capital.  For too long, access to capital has remained the biggest challenge,” he added.

Mutharika urged women and youth across the country to embrace the loan facilities being offered as government wants them to be part of Malawi’s development progress

“The loans are for every youth and every woman. They are for every Malawian in every district, as we want the youth and women to be part of Malawi development progress.

“Most youth and women are hardworking people and what we need is to give them the capital for them to grow their business and create new wealth,” he said.

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.

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