National Association of Women in Business Eastern and Southern Africa (Femcom) has hailed Malawi for allocating 10 acres of land to the organisation for the construction of a trade centre in Lilongwe.
The centre is expected to be built along the Lilongwe-Kamuzu International Airport Road near Malawi Institute of Management.
Currently, the organisation, which oversees the welfare of women entrepreneurs in the region, is being housed in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism offices in Lilongwe.
Speaking in an interview, Femcom chief executive officer Katherine Ichoya said the offices will be vital to their operations as a lot of youths will be taught entrepreneurship, among other skills.
She said: ”We are highly indebted to government for allocating us land which will help us have our own offices. These structures will be very magnificent and women and children within the region will be converging there. This will be like a regional office for all the 21 Femcom members and will help women entrepreneurs.”
According to Ichoya, they also plan to link up with institutions such as Bunda College so that traders learn how they can take agriculture as a serious business.
“We have aromatic rice in Malawi which if properly handled can fetch a lot of money. Entrepreneurs must seriously think of exporting agricultural produce. This is the reason we are calling on all Southern African Development Community [Sadc] governments to have cold rooms in borders which can facilitate exports of fresh products such as fish,” she said.
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development spokesperson Charles Vintulla confirmed the allocation of land to Femcom.
“I need to gather more information but it is true that land has indeed been allocated to the organisation,” he said.