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Roy Nkosi

Roy Nkosi

Monday, 25 September 2017 07:11

NFRA opens maize purchase to the public

Lilongwe, September 25: The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has announced that it has abandoned the tendering process in the purchase of maize and therefore allowing the public to directly sell their stock to the agency.

According NFRA Chief Executive Officer, Nasinuku Saukila, the decision to adopt the open process will not only enable Malawians to sell their maize but also empower them economically.

“A decision has been made to offer a flat price of K130 per Kilogram or K130, 000 per Metric Ton,” said Saukila adding that sellers will be required to present their stock at NFRA’s three depots of Kanengo, Bangula and Kazomba without any restrictions as long as the maize fulfils our quality specifications.

“The maize will go through necessary checks to make sure that it meets our required quality specification thus the maize has to be dry and clean among others. If we are satisfied, payment will be made within 10 days,” he said.

Earlier this month, NFRA announced that part of it restocking plans for 2017/18, it had opened direct procurement through tender to cater for both small and large-scalefarmers and the corporate world.

According to Saukila, the process received an overwhelming public response to readily supply the commodity hence the decision to change from the restricted to an open approach.

NFRA currently has about 42,000 metric tons of maize in stock.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 09:15

Competition essential in economic growth

Lilongwe, September 6: Comesa Competition Commission (CCC) has underlined the need for strong competition policy to help African countries achieve economic prosperity and improved citizen welfare.

CCC Chief Executive Officer George Lipimile told Malawi News Agency in an interview that competition leads to lower prices, high quality for the consumers, job creation and hence poverty eradication.

“Job creation is very important. In a competitive market, what you have are competitive jobs not massive jobs without any benefits to the worker.

“Markets need to be protected against the creation of dominant acquisitions, cartel and abuses of market power. Competition laws have to be applied to in a rigorous and transparent way,” he said.

Lipimile added that competition policy is aimed at forcing companies to run themselves efficiently and ensuring a level playing field.

“Competition forces economic operators to adjust to changes and innovate. Our companies can only compete at a global level if they are subjected to competition at a national and regional level. We can only be part of the global economy if we enforce our competition laws.

“Competition is also a tool to help us react and cope with the changes we face at the international level such as globalization, technological innovation and trade liberalization. These changes are a challenge but also give rise to an opportunity to adopt our national laws to the regional and global economic environment,” Lipimile said.

On regional integration, the CCC CEO said competition policy has a key role to play in creating good conditions of governance for national, regional and global market place.

 “Competition policy is the best instrument to ensure that regional integration is made a source of welfare for the citizens and films in our respective regions, it is key for regional integration. Competition breaks the barriers for free movement of goods and services enabling them to go across the borders,” Lipimile said.

Comesa Competition Commission is presided over by 13 commissioners nominated by the member of states and appointed the council of ministers. Its aim is to promote competition and protect the welfare of consumers within the common market as a way of promoting regional economic integration.

Lilongwe, July 19: Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicolas Dausi has described the third Egyptian cultural week as a representation of the efforts by Malawi and Egypt to preserve culture.

Dausi told a panel discussion at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) Bunda campus on Tuesday that a nation without culture is like a tree without roots.

He added that government is pleased to note that youth have been incorporated in the cultural week through the round table discussions.

“Every Malawian has a role to play in youth empowerment and cultural entrepreneurship,” he said.

Three successful young Malawians in different fields were chosen as panelists for the discussion which brought together students from all Luanar campuses and areas surrounding Bunda. 

Paramount Chief Gomani V, Frank Mwenechanya and Eve Kasambara debated on issues of leadership, job creating and innovation under theme 'The Africa we want; our youth, our culture and our future.'

In his remarks, Egyptian ambassador to Malawi, Maher El-Adawy, said the main lesson from the discussion was that Malawians do not need inspiration from outside but can inspire themselves.

El-Adawy added the Africa we want will be achieved in the future in part by investing in the youth today.

The Egyptian cultural week takes place annually in the month of July.

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 09:21

More maize arrive in Malawi from Zambia

Lilongwe, December 6; Over 1,000 from a total of 100, 000 metric tonnes of maize purchased from neighbouring Zambia for food insecurity response has arrived in Malawi.

The maize is being stored in Admarc warehouses and will be distributed in the central and northern region Admarc depots for sale.

The corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Foster Mulumbe said the process of transporting the maize is going on smoothly.

He added that he remains hopeful of Malawian transporters getting involved in the transportation process even though they have missed out on the latest consignment that is being offloaded.

“I have been assured by the supplier that they are in the process of clearing a list of Malawian transporters with the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia. Therefore, the next consignment will include Malawian transporters and chances are high that the ratio maybe more than 50 percent,” Mulumbe said.

The Admarc Chief Executive Officer said measures have been put in place to ensure that the maize is not affected by rains in the transportation process or at their storage facilities.

Mulumbe assured Malawians that besides the maize it is currently receiving, Admarc already has adequate stock of maize being sold in their depots countrywide adding that the maize arriving will supplement its existing stock.

Government through the corporation has purchased a total of 300, 000 metric tonnes from Romania, Zambia and locally in a bid to avert the food crisis that Malawi is facing after last season’s harvest was heavily affected by adverse weather.

Lilongwe, September 15: Director of British Council in Malawi, Reena Johl has stressed the need to widen the definition of inclusive education in Malawi to complement the council’s Connecting Classrooms project

Speaking at a stakeholder’s breakfast meeting in Lilongwe on Wednesday, she said it’s very commonly understood that inclusive education encompasses children with disabilities and the education system is equipped to manage that.

Johl said, “Inclusion has a much wider definition which takes into account children who are heads of households, orphans, children with a range of learning disabilities like dyslexia. That is what our Connecting Classrooms module supports them to do.

“We are looking at the capacity building aspect of the project, that's equipping teachers and school leaders to be able to manage at a practical level and meet the needs of all learners in their classrooms.”

Johl said the Connecting Classrooms module on inclusive education launched this week is central to the mission of British Council in terms of supporting equality, inclusion, diversity and is central to their commitment to education.

She added that bringing together stakeholders with interest in special needs education was important for all to discuss what they are doing and to see how together they can work to take forward and contribute to the ministry’s strategy on inclusive education in Malawi.

Director of Special Needs in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology David Njaidi added that the meeting was essential for stakeholder’s awareness on the national inclusive strategy that the ministry has developed.

“Through this strategy, we are trying to bring excluded learners into school like learners with various disabilities that have been excluded from the education system. People that operate in schools are the teachers, so if we give them the right awareness on inclusive education, the schools will accommodate every learner regardless of the individual differences.


“We need to give the teachers more skills so that they know the differences in various disabilities and learning challenges in their schools. That way can help their own strategies to address those challenges and also giving them the right teaching and learning resources,” Njaidi said.

Connecting Classrooms is British council’s programme for schools which focuses on continuous development opportunity for teachers and school leaders.

Lilongwe, September 9: Government has praised the Arab Republic of Egypt for its continued investment in the people of Malawi.

Health Minister, Dr. Peter Kumpalume said Egypt despite not being the richest nation, they have made tremendous investment in skills development in Malawi in many sectors of the economy including health.

Speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday, when the Egyptian government handed over nine capacity building scholarships in three different health programs, Kumpalume advised the recipients to go out and gain variable knowledge that will improve health service delivery in Malawi.

He said, “You were chosen because you are what Malawi needs to move forward, there is high expectations on you on what you can do for this country. We therefore expect that you will excel in the delivery services by gaining the best knowledge in Egypt.

“Egypt is not where it is today by chance, they made a choice to invest in their people and things that are more productive for their country. The best investment for a country is in people and we hope that our children will live in a better world because of the investment Egypt is making in the people of Malawi.”

Egypt’s Ambassador to Malawi Maher El-Adawy said Malawi has shown great appreciation in the health sector cooperation which has gone beyond capacity building and also extended to donation of state of art medical equipment to Mzuzu and Zomba Central hospitals.

El-Adawy said impact is the key word as Egypt in cooperation with the government of Malawi is constantly assessing the value of the support of Egypt to Malawi in the last two years in the field of Health.

“Egypt is working to support Malawi in new trilateral arrangements involving Egypt, Japan and Malawi. Within the 25 capacity building training programs that Egypt provided in the last 2 years 4 out of 25 have been under this unique trilateral cooperation.

“The partnership between the Egyptian Agency for Partnership and Development and Japan International Cooperation Agency is a model which is working in a very good way here in Malawi, and there is a joint assessment team to measure the impact of these programs on the health services provided in Malawi,” he said.

Since 2014, many Malawians have benefited from 25 different programs in the health sector in some of Egypt’s top level medical institutions in Cairo, Alexandria and Mansoura.

Monday, 05 September 2016 10:13

Govt to introduce measures against fake seeds

Lilongwe, September 5: Government says it plans to soon introduce measure to curb the flow of fake seeds on the market.

Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister, Dr. George Chaponda said Government is emphasizing the importance of Agriculture and for it to be meaningful, there is need to have the right type of seeds especially at this time when we are dealing with El-Nino.

Chaponda visited Seed-Co Company in Lilongwe on Friday and stressed the importance to have seeds which can yield more produce per hectare.

“For agriculture to move forward, quality seeds have to be provided to the farmers and that's why government values its partnership with seeds companies in Malawi like Seed-Co who have that kind of seeds,” he said.

Chaponda said government will soon introduce new agriculture and irrigation policies and is also in the process of deliberating seed policy which is expected to be tabled in Parliament in November.

Chaponda said, “The new agriculture policy has new innovations that appreciate Agriculture as key to economic progress by further promoting irrigation and empowering smallholder farmers through gradually moving towards mechanisation.”

Commenting on fake seeds, Seed-Co Managing Director Dellings Phiri said his company know that fake seeds come through packaging.

“We have introduced strict control on packaging material and its quality. If a farmer can identify our seeds, fake seeds won't be an issue. That can be done through the seed or the packaging,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company has donated 10 metric tonnes to people of the Lower Shire that have been affected locus.

Seed-Co is the major contributor to government’s subsidy program.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 10:32

COMESA engages judges in competition law

 

Mangochi, August 31: The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) through its Competition Commission has engaged judges from member states of the regional body on competition law in a two day workshop in Mangochi.

The workshop brought together Supreme and High Court judges from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mauritius, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe plus host country Malawi with officials from Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) also in attendance.

Malawi Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda SC who attended the workshop told Malawi News Agency that judges have to acquaint themselves with international competition law to ensure that their application of the law when faced with such cases is knowledge based.

Nyirenda said enforcement of competition law is a unique and complex area of law combining legal and market principles hence challenges that judges face in hearing and evaluating competition cases need to be continually addressed.

“It is important that as judges we have a deeper understanding of these international agreements to ensure that justice is served. The main thrust of the workshop is to look at the legal framework in the region and look at how best we can share experiences regarding the use of the framework to best serve our societies,” he said.

Nyirenda added that it was important to note that national law lacks extraterritorial reach and hence inadequate to address cross border restrictive business practices.

The Chief Justice also commented that the workshop had come at an opportune time when there are growing debates on the enforcement of regional instruments at national level in order to enhance regional economic integration agenda.

“There is need to have an instrument that has extra-territorial jurisdiction and is enforceable in all the member states to address conduct of such nature.

“We want to establish a common approach based on the COMESA treaty and global statutes that regulate completion and fair trading and come up with a system that ensures that principles that apply in our respective countries are the same so that whoever is trading the block gets the degree of legal services from our judges,” Nyirenda said.

Board Chairperson of the COMESA Competition Commission (CCC), Matthews Chikankheni said it is important that judges understand international  competition law so that they can implement their fairly.

“Judges have responsibility to hear & determine cases fairly for both parties. CCC as an enforcement agency, we are trying to impart judges with knowledge and understanding of competition law especially international,” he said.

Citing example of a merger, Chikankheni added that judges need to under complexity of mergers in relation to international law so that whenever one party feels aggrieved, they should be in a position to fairly assess cases and protect the consumer’s right.

One beneficiary of the workshop, Justice Rachel Sikwese of the Commercial Division of the High Court of Malawi, said such refresher workshop create a platform for interaction with judges from other countries and she would be able to relate in her cases.

Sikwese added that the getting together of judges is a best way to move forward in the application of regional and international law in our respective countries.

COMESA is composed of 19 member states and Malawi is one of the members in a national competition law. However, the law does not apply to mergers and acquisitions with cross boarder effect as they lack extra-territorial application.

Lilongwe, July 3; Ombudsman Justice Tujilane Chizumila has called on her office to lead by example and  set the pace in effective and efficient service delivery.

Speaking in Lilongwe when she opened a two day training workshop on performance management and vision for staff under her office, Justice Chizumila said the public expects the office of Ombudsman to execute its mandate in the most efficient and effective manner.

"The office of the ombudsman is the Auditor General of the public service, it must ensure quality delivery of services.

"The office has to conduct systematic investigations in public institutions and come up with special reports for policy change and practice in order to ensure effective and efficient delivery of services to the citizenry," she said.

Justice Chizumila added, "A number of interventions could be adopted in order to fulfill expectations, the design and implementation of a robust system for planning, monitoring and measuring the work performance of employees has great potential to promote efficient and effective service delivery."

She said the training had come at an opportune time when there is an outcry over deteriorating state of public service delivery in the Malawi Government system and the office is expected to produce and finalize its service delivery charter.

"Most public sector institutions in and outside the country have developed and implemented performance management systems in an effort to improve delivery of services to the public.

"In 2013, we engaged Management Solutions Consultants to assist us in designing, developing, pilot testing and installing a performance management system

The training workshop is running from July 2-3 at Golden Peacock hotel and it is being facilitated by Management Solutions Consultants.

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