The German Government has expressed satisfaction with progress of the 7 million euro (about K7.3 billion) More Income and Employment for Rural (Miera) Project that seeks to improve the business environment through construction of markets.
The project, which will see the construction of eight markets, including at Nkhata Bay, Dyeratu in Chikwawa, Lunzu in Blantyre and Sadzi in Zomba is funded by the German Government through KfW Bank.
Speaking after handing over Nkhata Bay Market, German Embassy deputy head of development cooperation Knut Steffen Gummert said he was impressed with progress on the project despite facing Covid-19 challenges.
He hoped that the new structures will help improve business for small-scale entrepreneurs but also provide easy and clean access to the general population.
Said Gummert: “I am very impressed by the set-up of the market. It will become
a social and economic centre for people here. It will become a better environment for vendors, farmers to come here to do business but also for the population to access goods in a clean and safe environment. Germany is happy with how the money has been spent.”
Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud said she was hopeful that vendors in the project areas will move into designated markets.
She said for Nkhata Bay, the new market can accommodate over 500 vendors compared to the old market accomodates takes in 300 people.
Said Daud: “We are impressed with these structures and I have directed that there should be maintenance to keep them in good shape. We will not tolerate vandalism and all those caught doing that will face the law.
“Markets as clean as these are create a god environment for business, and we hope that traders in rural areas will grow their businesses.”
Miera project builds from previous markets under the KFW Urban Window project to augment the existing facilities.
It is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government through the National Local Government Finance committee