Some sports associations have said the sports reforms being devised by government can only succeed if they are adequately funded.
On Monday, Vice-President Saulos Chilima met Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama and officials from his ministry as part of his drive to engage Cabinet ministers on Public Sector Reforms.
During the meeting, the minister presented six reform areas that his ministry is undertaking namely; establishment of a sports marketing department, revision of management structure for sports, establishment of a National Sports Development Fund and development of standard guidelines for sports infrastructure.
Reacting to the reform areas, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu urged government to revisit the national sports policy, saying without an enabling environment for companies, it will be hard to woo the private sector.
He said: “Just like countries invest in tourism and other sectors of government, it should be the same with sports. There should be a deliberate policy that creates an enabling envioroment for companies to get attracted to sponsoring sports knowing that government will accommodate some of their challenges.
“As part of the drive, we would also appreciate if government considered our proposition for direct funding from Parliament. Last time we met the parliamentary committee we made this proposal. Instead of funding our activities through Sports Council, they should fund national team programmes directly,” said Nyamilandu.
“The Ministry [of Youth and Sports] should work with Ministry of Education to form proper and elaborate plans backed by good funding to ensure sports tournaments in schools.”
Athletics Association of Malawi general secretary Frank Chitembeya also said funding will be key towards successful reforms.
“We submit a budget of K35 million for year’s calendar, but we get as little as K1.5 million,” he said.
On his part, Basketball Association of Malawi general secretary Peter Gomani said without enough funding any reforms will have no meaning.
However, Msungama said the reforms are aimed at solving challenges such as funding.
“There are plans to establish a sport development fund to address this problem,” he said.
On the proposed direct funding to FAM, Msungama said that is being looked into.