By Kenson McCloud

Government has revealed it has a budget deficit of MWK300 Million for the National Statistics Office to conduct a labour force survey to identify jobs that are currently in existence in the country. 

The remarks were made during a joint sector review workshop of the job creation strategy in Lilongwe on Thursday. 

Speaking during the workshop, Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule said Malawi is the only country in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region without updated data on the labour force with the existing one dating back to 2013.

According to Kamtukule the ministry has embarked on the process of generating data on jobs that have been created in the country so far. 

Kamtukule said her ministry has been working with the National Statistics Office to conduct a survey on labour force which needs resources amounting to K800 Million but so far only K500 Million has been raised. 

Kamtukule emphasized on the importance of knowing the performance of the economy in terms of job creation. 

She further appealed to institutions to provide data on jobs that they have created so that government should know how the nation is performing. 

She then reiterated the need to invest in skills development for the country to have more skilled labour. 

On his part one of the key speakers, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe, assured the delegates on government’s commitment to provide resources for the implementation of the strategy. 

According to Gwengwe, government has already shown commitment by creating an enabling environment and providing incentives for job creation.

Among other things, the Minister pointed out the Small and Medium Enterprise order of 2020 which has made it possible for SMEs to participate in procurement of government materials.

Gwengwe also mentioned the 60/40 procurement law which mandates the awarding of 60 percent of all contracts under national competitive bidding to the indigenous black Malawians. 

Gwengwe then implored the private sector to join government in the job creation drive and economic growth of the nation. 

On behalf of development partners, World Bank Country Manager, Hugh Riddel, emphasized on the need for the country to focus on key strategic sectors on job creation. 

Riddle said development partners will scale up support on investments that seek to boost the economy of the country. 

One of the renowned Malawian entrepreneurs Dr Napoleon Dzombe of Mtalimanja Holdings implored stakeholders to be creative in coming up with innovative solutions to address the issue of high unemployment.

Malawi launched the National Job Creation Strategy in 2021 and is expected to run through 2025.

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