President Chakwera presents awards to 13 recipients


President Lazarus Chakwera yesterday presented awards to 13 recipients of 2023 Zikomo Presidential Awards at Kamuzu palace in Lilongwe.

The 13 recipients that were awarded yesterday are groups and individuals that have embraced principles of entrepreneurship in finding solutions to various social problems which the country is facing.

The 2023 Presidential Zikomo Awards was held under the theme “Celebrating Self-reliance,”

Speaking during the awards, President Chakwera said he thought it was appropriate to honour some of the nation’s outstanding social entrepreneurs and the social enterprises they lead to provide solutions to some of the challenges Malawi faces.

“Social enterprises are admirable because of their pursuit of sustainable solutions that build self-reliance and reduce the culture of dependence that is often associated with other the kinds of interventions. Fundamentally, the remarkable individuals who established and who run these social enterprises have rejected three retrogressive paths they could have easily taken in response to the social problems we all see around us,” explained Chakwera.

The President also noted that the social enterprises are driven by people who genuinely want Malawi’s problems to be fixed for everyone, so they get up off their feet every day and work with others to provide solutions.

According to Chakwera, these social enterprises have chosen to get into the communities to roll up their sleeves and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people facing these challenges, and to work with them to create solutions, instead of standing far and pontificating about what’s wrong with Malawi and whose fault it is.

“The third path that each of these enterprises has rejected is the path of standing in the way of those who want to help Malawi, and they have done this by forging strategic partnerships with like-minded people who can add value to what they are trying to achieve. They understand that Malawi’s social problems cannot be solved by working alone, because many of those problems are intertwined and require a multi-faceted approach. Even though each of them are receiving credit,” said Chakwera.

In her remarks, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Jean Sendeza said the awarded social enterprises have improved the wellbeing of both rural and urban communities and are promoting the spirit of self-reliance as highlighted in the Malawi 2063.

She added that government of Malawi is committed to supporting their innovations as they positively impact Malawians.

The 2023 Zikomo Presidential Awards awardees have been providing solutions through their services such as water supply, food security initiatives, youth employment, improving refugees living conditions, health and girl child education among others.

One of the awardees is renowned businessman and philanthropist Napoleon Dzombe who has been recognised by his exploits in various social enterprises.

Dzombe is the founder of Blessing Hospital which offers health services to Lilongwe and Dowa communities at affordable cost and he also promotes modern agricultural practices.

The other recipients are Acades, Baseflow, Micromek Limited, Uchembere Wabwino, Wandikweza, Partners in Hope, Atsikana Paulendo, Tengani Water Users Association, Henga-Phoka Water Users Association, Tingathe, Kibebe, the department of Water supply from the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.