MCCCI courts youths on FINANCing, jobs

MCCCI courts youths on FINANCing, jobs

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has courted youths to the 34th Malawi International Trade Fair (MITF), saying they stand a chance to secure jobs and financing solutions for their businesses.

The call is a departure from the norm where such trade fairs were characterised by exhibitions, trade and business-to-business meetings.

The initiative will be done through the Job and Opportunity Fair to be held within the Malawi International Trade hosted by innovation support organisation mHub in partnership with GIZ, Care International and MCCCI.

From L to R: Chimwemwe Luhanga, Linda Pete, Mungoni and Madalitso Kazembe

In an interview on the sidelines a media briefing in Blantyre yesterday, mHub chief executive officer Elijah Lumbani Mkandawire said his firm will be linking unemployed youths and those in business to 50 potential employers and financiers during the fair.

He said: “This youth employment accelerator seeks to fast-track opportunities for the youth as most of them find it difficult to navigate the job market without any connections.

“For those oriented towards entrepreneurship, they will be pitching their different models to potential investors and stand a chance of getting mentorship and business coaching support aside from financial support.”

The initiative, which will take place from May 28 to 29, seeks to reach out to over 1 000 youths in Blantyre and the surrounding areas.

Previously, mHub, in partnership with GIZ, has conducted such fairs in five districts where 50 youths secured permanent jobs in various sectors while the other 50 got internship placements in various firms across the country.

Study findings show that Malawi’s employment landscape for the youth is characterised not only by scarcity of jobs outside the agriculture sector, but also insufficient work hours for those employed in agriculture.

Using three rounds of the Integrated Household Surveys done by the National Statistical Office, the study found that the younger youth category experienced a reduction in employment across all sectors as increasing numbers maintained their student status. 

Meanwhile, the trade fair is also expected to orient small and medium enterprises on internationally certified packaging for their products to boost the country’s export capacity through enhanced production.

MCCCI director of membership development Wezi Mungoni told journalists that with 177 exhibitors expected to grace this year’s trade fair, it will provide a platform for local and international delegates and exhibitors to connect, collaborate and explore new business opportunities.

“The fair will offer a mixture of opportunities for the driving force behind the engines of economic growth in the private sector,” she said.

Of the 177 registered exhibitors, two are from Mozambique and MCCCI says they are still in talks with firms from Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe on their participation.

The fair will be held from May 23 to 29 at the Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds in Blantyre under the theme ‘Boosting Malawi’s export capacity through enhanced production.

Since its inception, mHub has facilitated over $1 million (about K1.7 billion) in funding for emerging entrepreneurs, created over 1 000 jobs, and trained over 42 000 young people in business and technology.

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