For a long time Malawi has been singing a song of poor financing towards sustainable enhancing of small and medium enterprise which eventually graduates into bankable investments.
People with interest to focus on doing business have ended up being disappointed after moving from one bank to another with no tangible results.
It is against this background that Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has called upon financial institutions such as Banks to come out clear and support the industry.
The President made the call taking advantage of the commemoration of the International Day of Cooperatives at Civo Stadium in the Capital, Lilongwe, today.
The commemoration attracted a gathering of Cooperative Members, Government officials, members of the clergy, and the general public.
“Additionally, I call upon all government agencies, development partners, non-governmental organizations and all relevant stakeholders involved in
cooperative development to double their efforts towards sustainable cooperative development.
“Access to finance is an especially vital element that cannot be ignored in any sector. The potential impact of cooperatives can only be optimally realized if the sector has access to finance and other investment opportunities. Access to finance allows cooperatives to move up the value-chains and engaged in value addition,” he said.
The President said his focus is to ensure that there is a conducive policy, legal and regulatory environment for the cooperative sector, and so “I direct the Minister of Trade and Industry to speedily conclude the policy reviews you are working on, because we cannot be running cooperatives on a policy framework that was developed in an era that no longer exists.”
“As you know, Minister, my Administration’s support to cooperatives goes beyond words, and I call on other stakeholders like banks and private sector companies and investors to do the same,” he said.
Chakwera said cooperatives are the bedrock of community empowerment and economic progress in Malawi.
He emphasized the pivotal role played by cooperatives in driving positive change and fostering inclusive growth for the nation.
The event, this year, is celebrated under the theme “Cooperatives for a Prosperous and Inclusive Malawi.”
The commemoration highlighted the remarkable contributions made by cooperatives in various sectors, such as agriculture, finance, and manufacturing, in empowering communities and uplifting livelihoods.
The International Day of Cooperatives is observed globally on the first Saturday of July each year. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness about cooperatives’ socio-economic impact and their role in achieving sustainable development goals.
This annual celebration aims to recognize and promote the cooperative movement’s significance in advancing economic and social progress, not only in Malawi but also around the world.
Cooperatives, with their democratic and community-driven principles, have been instrumental in transforming societies by fostering self-help, solidarity, and collective decision-making.
They provide a platform for individuals to come together, pool resources, and address common challenges, ultimately creating a more equitable and resilient society.
Chakwera commended the dedication and hard work of Cooperative Members in contributing to the nation’s development. He expressed his government’s commitment to supporting and promoting cooperative initiatives that align with the country’s broader development agenda.
The President also urged stakeholders to explore innovative ways to strengthen cooperatives, enhance their efficiency, and expand their reach to even more marginalized communities.
The commemorative event included various cultural performances, inspiring speeches, and presentation of gifts to President Chakwera from Cooperative Members as a token of gratitude.
It provided an opportunity for attendees to network, exchange ideas, and reaffirm their commitment to building a prosperous and inclusive Malawi through cooperative efforts.