Lack of skills retarding development in Africa – Mutharika

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President Peter Mutharika has said lack of skills and perceptions that many Africans have are making the continent to develop at a slow pace.

Mutharika said this during the European Development Days in Brussels.

He said it is important for Africa to invest in human capital because much of the African situation results from lack of certain skills and the way Africans think.

“Our reality is that Africa is not a poor continent. What we need is skilled labour force to turn our assets into capital. Although, its people are mostly poor, Africa has a lot of resources. Sadly however, part of African poverty is created by global structural imbalances,” Mutharika said.

Peter Mutharika

Peter Mutharika speaking at the conference.

He further said equipping youth with skills and including women in decision making positions can help Africa to make strides in development.

Mutharika disclosed that lack of skills leads to high levels of unemployment and poverty that make a lot of African youths to migrate to Europe.

“Poverty and unemployment in Africa become a migration problem in Europe. This is a problem nearly European leader has to contend with. While you are worrying about migration, Africa is worried about youth unemployment,” Mutharika said.

He further asked European leaders to create an environment for economic growth to benefit both Europeans and Africans.

“In the case of Malawi, we have now set the stage for the country to grow. But we need the kind of economic growth in which everyone grows, particularly youth and women. Investing in women and youth is necessary for inclusive development. As a country, we are ensuring that our vulnerable people, youth and women are part of the development agenda,” he said.

Mutharika told the delegates that Malawi has enacted and enforced various legislations to safeguard against issues that affect most women and children.

The president expressed hope that the legislations will safeguard property rights and equality, curb human trafficking and prevent domestic violence and early marriages.

“I can now say – we have a progressive legislative framework for protecting and empowering women. We have intensified programmes such as Women Social and Economic Empowerment, Increasing Access and Quality of Education for Girls, and Social Cash Transfer Programme. “Above all, we have taken proactive measures to include women in strategic decision making position. Positions such as Clerk of Parliament, Solicitor General and Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission are held by women.”

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