Government finally launched the construction of the five community technical colleges on Saturday in Traditional Authority Nkagula in Zomba which will be constructed across the country to the tune of K8.9 billion.
The technical colleges will be built under the China- Aided Project for Malawi Community Technical Colleges in Mzimba, Ntcheu, Zomba, Mulanje and Nsanje districts.
Speaking during the official laying of the Foundation Stone of Sakata Community Technical College in Zomba-Nsondole, Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia, said with the youth comprising about 70 per cent of Malawi’s population, the only way to empower them was to train them in various skills.
The minister said that would enable them to be innovative, self reliant and able to open their own entrepreneurships which would employ others as well, thus reducing unemployment in the country.
She stressed that empowering the country’s youth is a way of government pursuing an agenda of transforming Malawi from a predominantly importing to a predominantly exporting nation.
“The President realised the importance of implementing the agenda by providing necessary and relevant skills to the youth of Malawi through the introduction of the Community Technical Colleges Programme across the country,” she said.
Chiumia, therefore, commendedthe People’s Republic of China for complementing Malawi’s efforts of providing technical and entrepreneurial skills, especially to the out-of-school and the vulnerable youth to make them useful citizens.
For smooth implementation of Sakata Community Technical College, Chiumia appealed to communities in the area to embrace the project by giving the Chinese Community at the project site full support.
She advised them to desist from perpetrating rumours of blood-sucking which, she said, could negatively affect progress of the project.
Meanwhile, 12 community technical colleges have already been established in the first phase of the programme and are operational. Several youth have already graduated from these community colleges.
In his remarks, Counsellor Liu Guoyu of the Chinese Embassy in Malawi highlighted the agreement made between Malawi and the People’s Republic of China to invest in the youth which he described as key to Malawi’s transformation.
“We agree with the view from H.E. Prof Peter Mutharika to invest in the youth, which is key to transform Malawi now and beyond,” said Guoyu.
That was why, Guoyu said, his government has been paying much attention to education assistance to Malawi for years. He cited the construction of Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) as one of the indelible symbols of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
“However, that was just a beginning……..So today, we are gathering here to witness the ground-breaking of the five China-aid community colleges,” said the Chinese official, pledging to construct Sakata Community College with speed and quality.
The college will have practice workshops, ordinary classrooms, offices, equipment rooms, library, catering rooms, distribution and fire control rooms and porters’ lodge, and a parking post among other exterior components.
Once complete, the college will offer welding skills, computer technology, sewing, bricklaying, plumbing and carpentry.