Government has asked councils in Malawi to create a conducive environment for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), saying they are vital in wealth and job creation.
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Augustine Mtendere said this recently when he met vendors and artisans in Zomba City.
He urged councils to have designated places from where SMEs can operate their businesses.
â€œSmall and medium-scale businesses deserve government support because they offer employment to the majority of Malawians,â€ said Mtendere.
He said government has shown commitment to growing the sector through disbursement of soft loans under the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Yedef).
The artisans asked the deputy minister why, in the face of foreign exchange challenges, government continues to import drip stands and other medical equipment that can be manufactured locally.
Mtendere said government signed international trade agreements which could be contravened if a ban is imposed on some imports.
He encouraged the artisans to aggressively market their products to win the confidence of the buyers.
Zomba City Council chief executive officer Charles Kalemba outlined the cityâ€™s development plans which include extending the commercial area.
â€œYou might have seen that in some areas we have demolished residential houses that were in the business area.
â€œWe are also building a road from 5 Miles passing behind Chancellor College to Chinamwali Trading Centre where we will have an industrial area,â€ said Kalemba.