Government of Malawi of Malawi through the Ministry of Labour has launched Malawi Decent Country Programme II which aims to make a labour market in Malawi that is more productive, delivers a fairer income and provides better security in the workplace.
The program which will be implemented from 2020-2023 is the second national programme of its kind that has been developed following the first one which run from 2011 to 2016.
The programme also seeks to ensure effective enjoyment of the rights freedom of association and collective bargaining for workers to express their concerns and participate in the decisions that affect their lives, ensures equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men, and offers improved quality and coverage of social protection for workers and their families.
It is modelled on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Agenda, a framework that ILO uses to organise and channel support to Member States.
Its Pillars are Employment, international Labour Standards and fundamental Principles and Rights at work, Social Protection and Social Dialogue.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule said the Government of Malawi is confident that DWCP II will get even more support both from the ILO and other development partners.
Kamtukule added that government is particularly keen to see more support being channeled towards job and wealth creation which is a top priority of the Tonse Alliance administration.
“I have noted with satisfaction that the development of the DWCP II was highly consultative. This is important for full ownerships of the programme which makes implementation easier. The DWCP II, apart from being aligned with the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda has also taken into account other global, continental regional and national strategic frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the AU Agenda 2063 and other frameworks. The DWCP will help to raise the profile of labour issues as one of the key drivers of our economy,” said Kamtukule.
He also noted that the number of implementation challenges were encountered under DWCP I with notable ones being coordination, inadequate funding and lack of monitoring to track progress.
“The first step of problem solving is when you identify accurately what was the cause of that problem. So, the problem was identified and that was the issue of coordination among other stakeholders but also the problem of financials. So, what we apply to do for the second Decent Work Country Programme is that we are going to have a separate resource mobilization strategy that is going to mobilize resources for the implementation but also a deliberate plan to ensure that there’s is coordination among all stakeholders.
“All the Ministries, all the stakeholders are going to be involved, Malawi Congress of Trade Union is going to be involved, The Employers Consultative Association of Malawi is also going to be involved, so all of us are going to be responsible for mobilising resources but also for working together to ensuring that we are delivering on what the program wants us to do,” said Kamtukule.
In his remarks, Executive Council Member for Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) Orphan Mapopa Chirwa who is also Chairperson of Lobbying and Advocacy Committee of Employers Association of Malawi said the project is aiming at improving the working conditions of workers therefore as ECAM they will fulfill strategies that the project wants.
“As Employers Association of Malawi, we are excited to ensure that this project is fully implemented by all employers because it will not be important to employees only when employees are working in good and decent conditions. We know that companies are going to make profits because employees will actually be happy so we are excited to actually adopt the policy.
“Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) acquainted itself to this process of developing the Decent Work Country Program II from the word go because of the importance employers attach to contributing to Malawi’s economic growth strategies of which decent wok is key,” said Chirwa.