Technical Skills Crucial to National Development- Mutharika

President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has reiterated that technical skills development remains crucial to the development of the country.

Mutharika was speaking on Thursday when he opened Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College at Providence Industrial Mission (PIM) in Chiradzulu.

The president said there is no country which has developed without people with different skills including technical and vocational.

“There is no country in the world which can develop without people who have skills. The opening of community technical colleges would help Malawi develop and at the same time create jobs for the youth,” he said.

Mutharika added that community technical colleges are important to train the youth in different skills and that by December this year all the districts would have community colleges as promised.

The Malawi leader further said government was aware that the youth in the county have no jobs hence the construction of the community technical colleges.

He, however, advised the youth to enroll into the colleges to acquire different skills assuring that after the training they would be given loans to start up businesses and employ others.

Mutharika, therefore, commended the efforts being done by the youth in the country, citing an example of youths who are operating motor cycle taxis, pointing out that on his way to Thyolo to register in the voter roll, he saw about 50 motor cycles being operated by the youth.

“I was at Goliati this morning and I was amazed to see how a group of young men have bought motor cycles and are engaging in motorbike taxis to improve their own well being,” he said, emphasizing that it was a positive development which he would support.

He observed that John Chilembwe and his wife Aida worked tirelessly towards empowering women and the youth to be self — reliant, noting that the technical college was an honour to the two fallen posthumously.

Mutharika disclosed that government has introduced Malawi Enterprise Development Fund which would provide loans to the youth to be able to engage in meaningful economic activities.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Francis Kasaila said the equipment which have been installed at the Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College were of high quality.

Kasaila added that the European Union (EU) is also supporting governments vision to have community technical colleges and that EU has promised to construct five colleges in five districts by December this year.

“The EU has already started constructing a college in Zomba and after 30 days they would move to another district up until they finish with the construction and also provide equipment and machines,” he said.

Kasaila said government has put 2300 youths on internship in different Ministries and Departments within a period of two months, noting that the other group would be attached to private sector.

In his remarks representative of PIM Foreign Mission, Dr. Terrence Griffiths thanked President Mutharika for remaining faithful to his promise to construct the college at the institution.

Griffiths said each person who keeps a promise should be honoured and respected, saying: “PIM holds you in high esteem for keeping your promise. We are proud that you continue to make PIM a shining institution.”

PIM has since decorated President Mutharika through Griffiths with a Nelson Mandela Leadership Award for his determination to improve and build the capacity of the youth in the country.

The country has so far constructed 13 colleges and 7000 youths have already graduated from the community colleges.