Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) executive director Frank Chikuta has said youth engagement is key to enhancing public finance management (PFM).
Speaking during 2021 University Students’ Debate held at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (Mubas)in Blantytre on Friday, he said the debates Ecama organises on economic issues, among others, is aimed to build capacity of young people to engage on fiscal justice.
Said Chikuta: “As a consortium, our mission is to provide practical solutions to Malawi’s development challenges and opportunities. We realise to do this we must not leave anyone behind, including the youth; hence, this opportunity to identify and become aware of the key issues affecting the efficient management of PFM.
“It is our belief that the views expressed by the youth will feed, in one way or another, into decision making by policy makers.”
The debates are being held under the theme Youth Engagement in Public Finance Management and seek to promote participation of the youth as a catalyst for transparent, accountable, efficient and effective PFM systems.
During the Southern Region knock-out stage debate, Blantyre International University (BIU) emerged winner with 51 points against Catholic University of Malawi (Cunima) that scored 46 points.
BIU will join University of Malawi (Unima) which beat Mubas in the inaugural debate as Southern Region winners.
In his remarks, BIU participants’ moderator Emmanuel Soko said they were excited and looking forward to the next steps in the debates.
He said: “During the trainings our students were a bit hesitant seeing as we had been defeated in the past but we are very glad that today the odds were in our favor. We will use the corrections that were made here as learning areas so improve even more in the next debates.”
Cunima and BIU engaged under the topic ‘Can corruption and abuse of government resources be stopped in Malawi to ensure development?’
Meanwhile, Ecama said the next regional debates will take place in the Central Region and the participating colleges and universities are Malawi Assemblies of God University (Magu), Pentecostal Life University (PLU), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and Malawi Institute of Management (MIM).
With support from the delegation of the European Union to Malawi, the debate was organised by the consortium of Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama), Oxfam in Malawi and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).