Minister of Information launches Luntha ndi Chuma Project

Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, launched the Digital Skills and Innovations grants under the Digital Malawi (Luntha ndi Chuma) project which is set to benefit over 3000 youth and young women across Malawi with digital skills trainings.

Minister of Information Gospel Kazako during the launch

Speaking at the opening ceremony held at Mzuzu Sunbird Hotel on 4th June 2021, Kazako described the project as a crucial element in developing the country’s economy as these digital skills are a catalyst for job creation and entrepreneurship among the youth who compose 50% of the county’s population.

The Minister said time has come where young people need to focus on ways of bettering their lives through meaningful channels of acquired knowledge and utilize existing platforms that support them towards self-reliance.

“You will notice that many young people have the will to create jobs and employ others but waste much energy in circles that do not benefit them. We want to breed young people into thinkers. Knowledge will be easier spread if we have young men and women who are optimistic of achieving a lot in the digital sector,” explained Kazako.

Minister of Information Gospel Kazako talks to CEO of PPPC Patrick Kabambe during the event

With government’s agenda of creating 1 million jobs, Kazako said these 6 tech Hubs are complementing government’s efforts in imparting employability skills to young people and share the same vision and passion to dominate the need for having a vast platform of young people that have digital skills that are marketable.

Kazako gave a stern warning on misusing the grants money and echoed the need for these Hubs to channel the funds to its intended purpose which is to reduce the literacy gap that is there especially among young women that are in the rural areas.

“This is 2021 and we still have that huge gap. We want to bridge this gap and we are doing anything possible to make sure that we move away from the business-as-usual attitude that has been in our system which includes corruption and theft. We have wasted several years with politics, instead of focusing on development. Basic literacy in digital skills among the citizenry has also made the country to lag behind in terms of development,” explained Kazako.

The grants channel, Public Private Partnership Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kabambe said the six implementing tech-hubs namely M-Hub, Mzuzu E-Hub, Dzuka Africa, Growth Africa, Techno Lab and NTHA Foundation will share $2 million from World Bank to reach out to the beneficiaries.

Patrick Kabambe, CEO of PPPC speaking during the launch

“We want to see the targeted groups in both urban and rural areas benefit from this project. We believe giving an equal opportunity to all the young people in the country is the best way of closing in on the digital skills gap that exists in the country. Our main role will be monitoring and assessing the implementation and progress of the program with the tech-hubs to make sure that they are in line with our agreement and target at the end of the project which runs until June 2022,” said Kabambe.

Chingakule delivering a speech on behalf of the 6 Tech Hubs

Speaking on behalf of the tech-hubs, Oganive Chingakule of Growth Africa emphasized on the hubs commitment in reaching out to young men and women to utilize this opportunity to advance skills acquired into businesses that will lead them to financial independence.

“We are optimistic that the skills that these trainees will acquire are a base for building sustainable businesses and knowledge that will be utilized in various places of employment. We acknowledge the digital skills gap and we will effectively provide trainings that have a lasting impact on them,” said Chingakule.

Programs Manager for Mzuzu E Hub Austin Moyo (2nd L) talks to Kazako and some government officials during Mzuzu E-Hub tour

Before the launch, Minister Kazako visited Mzuzu Entrepreneur Hub – Mzuzu E-Hub, one of the Hubs implementing the Digital Malawi Project to appreciate their office space and training rooms. The trainees will receive attendance certification and internship opportunities upon completion of the trainings.

The Digital Skills and Innovations grants is from the World Bank through Malawi Government’s Public Private Partnership Commission – PPPC’s Digital Malawi project.

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