By Cyrus Bengo
Economic experts have called for the restructuring of Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) to deal with political interference and ensure provision of loans to youth who owns micro-businesses with cash flow problems.
Economic Association Of Malawi president , Lauryn Nyasulu, made the call in an interview.
She noted that there are young people who have created or are trying to come up with innovations but have no financial resources to implement their ideas.
“Government has done a commendable job by increasing MEDF loan from K15 billion to the tune of MK40 billion. MEDF has to categorise the loan distribution to the youth and prioritise already thriving businesses now and post pandemic,” she said.
She further applauded government for enhancing financial inclusion to the youths by encouraging the use of mobile wallets. Phiri added that maintaining low transaction cost would go long way in financial inclusion in the long term.
Yonna Gomani who plies his trade of video show at Area 25 in Lilongwe said the program needs overhaul and restructuring since loans were being disbursed to people that are not ready and have no business ideas.
“I would suggest that they should disburse the loan upon assessment of the beneficiary’s ideas and businesses. I am proposing this because it is almost impossible for everyone to use the loan sustainably and pay back, we end up having more defaulters,” he said.
Social commentator Wonderful Mkuche said government has to make sure the economy is working for all, youth inclusive.
“When things are good at macro level it also impacts the micro level, but we need direct social developmental loans at MEDF that can spur innovative growth that are in line with modern world,” he said.
He added that there is more to be done in practice to uplift lives of young people
On July 3 this year, the Tonse Alliance administration suspended disbursement of MEDF loans in order to take stock of the loans. The government expects loan disbursement to resume on September 1.