Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima says the private sector can no longer be a spectator in the development agenda of the country but must be a strategic and reliable partner.
Speaking yesterday during the launch of old mutual partnership conversations series in Lilongwe, Chilima said Malawi requires a public and a private partnership that can create jobs and boost small scale business for the people of Malawi.
“I am encouraged by this realization by the private sector about playing a big role in rebuilding the economy of the country. They can no longer be spectators in the development agenda of our country.
“Whether we will take baby steps or make giant leaps the private ought to be moving and the time is now. It is a fact that Covid-19 has disrupted economic lives of our people through the loss of jobs and businesses are in the process of recovering while other businesses have completely wiped out,” said Chilima.
Chilima also disclosed that Government through the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development will soon launch a Malawi COVID-19 Social Economic Recovery Plan to enable the economy bounce back from the effects of the global health pandemic.
He said government recognizes that recovering and building back better from the Covid-19 pandemic will require strategic and sustainable investments in areas such as health and education system strengthening, protecting people especially the most vulnerable and creating an enabling business environment for sustainable economic recovery.
“To achieve this, we have come with the Malawi COVID-19 Socio-economic Recovery Plan (SERP). We will be taking this plan to the Private Sector, developing partners, the academia, the civil society and the media to partner with us during its implementation,” he said.
He added that the recovery plan aims at enhancing the capacity of Malawi and its people to effectively recover and build back better from the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate the transition to the effective implementation and realization of its development aspirations as espoused under MW2063, the country’s development blue print.
In her remarks, Old Mutual Group Chief Executive Officer, Edith Jiya said Malawi needs partnership to achieve post COVID-19 recovery.
She noted that Covid-19 pandemic is one challenge Malawi continues to face among other challenges including climate change, high unemployment levels, limited access to energy sources and unreliable energy.
“On a positive side we can potentially take this time as a time of great change and rebirth globally. An opportune time as a nation that we question ourselves if we have a plan for recovery. An ideal time as the private sector to think, imagine and execute our plans to contribute towards this recovery plan for the benefit of our nation. A time when we should work together as partners to truly re-imagine our future. Most importantly, this is a time of action, if we fail now to act together, decisively and with purpose then we are failing future generations”, said Jiya.
Jiya also noted that Old Mutual believes that its role in curbing climate change, global pandemics and natural disasters is of paramount importance because the very core of their work is managing risk.
“At Old Mutual, we have always believed in the positive power of partnership, responsible investments and the scalable impact of financial services. As Old Mutual, at the very onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we intensified our focus on the long-term wellbeing of all our stakeholders. We responded swiftly to the urgent need to slow down the virus and provide relief, mobilizing our resources to fight the pandemic and extend a lifeline to stakeholders in need,” said Jiya.
Old Mutual’s inaugural conversation series named “The Old Mutual Partnership Conversation Series” is a platform which aims to deliver impactful engagements that will strengthen relationships and practically share solutions to a range of critical societal and environmental issues.