Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda has said the ministry would lobby Parliament to make laws that will enable companies to sponsor associations.
The minister made the remarks yesterday during the opening of the 2022 Sports Indaba at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe.
He said it is disappointing that the corporate world is not committed to investing in sports as part of their social corporate responsibility.
In the picture Banda addressing participants
Said Chimwendo Banda: “Every year we read annual financial statements in the newspapers which reveal that banks, insurance companies, construction companies, mobile phone service providers make billions in profits.
“But they can’t invest a bit of that in sports, yet sports is followed by the majority of Malawians. That is unfair. We are not saying they should share part of their capital investment but profits.”
He said the ministry decided to engage the corporate world to convince them to invest in sports.
Said Chimwendo Banda: “But if there is no progress and companies are not forthcoming with sponsorships then we will think of coming up with legislation in Parliament that will force companies to contribute something towards sports development. In other countries, companies are working hand in hand with government, investing huge resources in sports.”
The minister did not spare associations, saying their poor governance affects their bid to attract sponsorship.
He said: “We are also aware that effective sports management requires a lot of investment, commitment and joint efforts among stakeholders. All these have not been done as required for us to develop sports in Malawi. I am grateful that, long at last, we are here to discuss crucial matters that have made us fail to perform.”
Chimwendo Banda said the meeting will also allow the participants to analyse the sport sector and identify achievements, challenges so that they come up with recommendations on how best we can develop sports in the country.
He said the indaba, among others, tackled governance issues, resource mobilisation, awareness on the importance of sports to an individual, community and the country, capacity of sports officials and organisations, ownership and financing of sorts programmes, use and management of sports facilities, observance of sports policies and operational guidelines, national sports development plan.
Malawi National Council of Sports chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise thanked government for organising the meeting, saying it will go a long way in ironing out bottlenecks sports associations face.
He said: “Bringing together all stakeholders to discuss common issues affecting sports is the right step in finding lasting solutions to dwindling sports standards. This is a very important platform because, among others, leaders of sports associations will be able to link up directly with potential sponsors.”
Close to 200 participants, drawn from sports associations, Super League clubs are among those taking part in the two-day national conference.