Government has urged men in the country to join Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups to participate fully in the economic development of the country.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Grace Maseko made the call at Gymkana Club in Zomba on Tuesday during the launch of a Private Service Providers (PSP) Network, Known as Poverty Reduction and Community Empowerment (Preco).
VSL is a self-sustaining initiative where groups contribute savings in a common fund and lend each other at an agreed minimal interest.
Maseko said saving groups would alleviate poverty in villages as members borrow money at a lower interest rate than in commercial banks to start small-scale businesses.
She said the programme was not meant for women only; hence, she encouraged men to join it.
“I hope the groups shall continue doing well under the umbrella of Preco after Wala programme ends. Government is eager to support the network as it has already been registered as a community-based organisation and will soon be a cooperative,” she said.
Zomba district community development officer Enoch Linje agreed with Maseko that there is low participation of men in such activities.
Linje said both men and women are key actors in development projects through community ownership as demonstrated by the formation of Preco.
The initiative in Zomba is being implemented in areas of senior chiefs Chikowi and Mlumbe, and Traditional Authority Mbiza. —Mana