Sheikh Ayami profoundly applauds Malawi Relief Fund-UK’s efforts in vocational skills development for young Malawians

* If the country is to realise the MW2063 agenda, we need to invest into the younger generation

* Because they perfectly fit towards achieving the goals of the government through the national vision

By Duncan Mlanjira

Respected Islamic scholar Sheikh Mustahab Ayami has profoundly praised efforts by Malawi Relief Fund-UK (MRF-UK) in vocational skills development, saying this is the way forward if the country is to achieve the MW2063 national vision.


He said this at Maone Vocational Training Centre in Chiradzulu during graduation of 4th cohort of young Malawians who have completed skills training in various fields such as bricklaying; plumbing; carpentry & joinery; electrical installation — from level 1 up to level 3.

The guest of honour, Sheikh Ayami was particularly impressed of the news that going forward — and taking cognizance of the overwhelming demand of interested students — MRF-UK plans to add more courses to the existing ones so as  meet the demands on the market.

These new course will be in horticulture; solar installation; information & communication technology (ICT); welding automobile mechanics; teacher training, among others.

Sheikh Ayami, who also manages a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mai Aisha Trust, took cognizance that since the vocational programme’s inception in 2021, MRF-UK has reached out to many youths with economic life-changing skills.

“If the country is to realise the MW2063 agenda, we need to invest into the younger generation because they perfectly fit towards achieving the goals of the government through the national vision,” he said of the skills development, which is carried out in partnership with Issa  Foundation and Technical Entrepreneurial Vocational Education & Training Authority (TEVETA), the country’s vocational training regulator.

On his part, MRF-UK country coordinator, Yakub Valli said the enthusiasm the programme has received from all its four cohorts, entails that as an institution it is making progress in terms of the number of students being enrolled and trades being offered.


“MRF-UK and Issa Foundation lay a notion of opening doors of opportunity to everybody which is the core mission of this institution,” Valli said. “MRF UK and its donors have seen into it that as a country, there are diverse needs of the market demands.

“And looking at the overwhelming demand of students, we are glad to say that our near future plan is to add more courses to the existing ones so as meet the demands of the market.

Valli assured the guest of honour and the nation that MRF-UK will see to that the programs should serve as a model for their satellite centres in Chiradzulu District and he also offered his “heartfelt appreciation” to the vocational centre’s Principal and instructors “for the tirelessly determined hard-working spirit they have dedicated towards this institution which is yielding the best results”.

“All in all let me thank our donors who, despite the economic crunch, are still able to provide all the teaching and learning materials, lunch to all students as well as starter pack tools upon completion.

“This is such a huge favour responding to the needs of Malawians and which is sustainable for the livelihood of these students and their families.”

Valli emphasised that MRF UK and its donors believe that skills development is key in a quest to have globally competitive and highly motivated human resources in alignment with the MW2063 agenda.

“The MW2063 aims to transform Malawi into a wealthy and self-reliant industrialised upper middle-income country by the year 2063 — thus MRF-UK compliments well with the government’s efforts towards creating a society whose members are not only knowledgeable but are also skillful and competent in doing what is needed most in their communities and the country at large.

“MW2063 Enabler 5 on human capital development will only be achieved when citizens are highly knowledgeable with the relevant quality education that incorporates a strong element of academic excellence and technical market.”

Turning for the class of 2023/2024 academic year, he urged the graduands for Malawi to realise Enabler 5, saying: “No matter how much you have done or how successful you have been, there is always more to do.

“And there is always more to learn as regards the current dynamics when it comes to all the trades you have undergone through the current designs and all sorts of new current demands in terms of buildings, plumbing, furniture, electrical styles — the list is endless 

“I want to say to you today graduands of the class 2023/2024 that despite having achieved a remarkable milestone in your life — despite the fact that you and your families are so rightfully proud — you too can not rest on your laurels, your own body of work is also yet to come.

“Take note that the old order had been shaken, the old ideas and institutions have crumbled and a new generation is called upon to remake the world and it starts with you at household level, community, national and finally globally.

“It should be clear to you that by now the category into which all of you fall — hard work and smart ideas, quality products and wise investments — will see us succeed.”

He urged them not to take shortcuts, not to live on credit but instead to build up savings, to be able to see business focus on rebranding and repackaging, saying: “These will drive us towards our sustainable livelihood.

“Take note that the rest of the world has grown hungry, more restless but we need to start doing things differently in an acceptable manner. Many of our current challenges are unprecedented — there are no standard remedies.

“That why MRF-UK is supporting government to achieve MW2063 agenda where Malawi as a country needs young people like you to step up; the country needs your daring your enthusiasm, your energy,  imagination.

“Let me be clear to you that when I say ‘young’, I’m not just referring to the date of your birth certificate, I’m talking about an approach to life, a quality of mind and a quality of heart and a willingness to follow your passion.

“These will drive you to doing what’s meaningful to you what helps others and what makes a difference in this world — only then can we realise sustainable development.”