The Small Enterprise Development Organisation of Malawi (Sedom), Malawi Entrepreneurs Development Institute (Medi) and the Development of Malawi TradersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Trust (Demat) have finally merged and formed a body, Small and Medium Enterprise Board.
Minister of Industry and Trade John Bande confirmed in the development in an email interview on Sunday.
Bande said the aim of the merger is to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiencies through reduction of costs and unnecessary duplications.
He said the new institution is likely to have a staff compliment of over 100.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“By implementing this merger, it is the wish of government to boost the economy of Malawi through trade and that Malawi should be an easy and safe target to invest,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Bande.
The minister said with the merger in place, government is seeking speedy registration of business and cited the bill on business registration which is in the offing as one of its initiative to ensure quick business registration process.
Quizzed on the fears by employees that the merger might cost some jobs, Bande described the fears as genuine but said it is likely that excess staff would be re-assigned to other public sector institutions in the country.
Said the minister: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The fears of the members of staff might be genuine, especially when we consider the form of a merger being envisaged. But government had already given direction that the excess staff should be re-assigned elsewhere in the public sector.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But a source at Medi, who declined to be identified, told Business News in an interview on Monday that Medi employees were ordered to submit copies of their curriculum vitae (CVs) by January 9 this year, a situation which he said has instilled panic and fears over most members of staff within the institution.
He also said senior officials from the ministry have been holding series of meetings with Medi officials to assure them on the safety of their jobs in the wake of the merger.
Added the source: Ã¢â‚¬Å“But as of now, there is a shake-up among employees from Medi, Sedom and Demat regarding the future of their jobs despite several assurances by government. In fact, this afternoon [yesterday], Medi management will brief us on the way forward.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mergers and dissolutions of some parastatals was one of the major policy reforms government announced in the 2010/11 national budget.
In the budget, government unveiled a plan to trim the number of subverted organisations from 65 to 41, a move expected to improve the delivery of public goods and services.
Former Finance minister Ken Kandodo said when he presented the national budget that while restructuring is associated with job losses as some posts are dropped, he assured that the process will be managed in such a way that as many people as possible will be absorbed into the new structures.