By Malawi Exclusive
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Impact Centre for Economic Empowerment and Development (ICEED) have signed a new partnership valued at MK376 Million (USD$450,000) to accelerate the fight against child labour in Malawi.
The two organizations will implement a technical vocational skills training program for youths of legal working age [14-17 years and above] and economic empowerment activities for workers in the lower tiers of the tea and coffee supply chains.
In a statement dated 10th March, 2022, ILO says the partnership provides for technical and financial support to ICEED established under the regional ILO Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa) project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands.
The statement says the partnership is aimed at accelerating the elimination of child labour in global supply chains in Africa saying the project in Malawi is being implemented in the districts of Chitipa, Mzimba, Ntchisi, Thyolo and Mulanje across tea and coffee supply chains.
The Director of the ILO Country office for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, George Okutho, said the partnership will see ILO support ICEED as a local non-profit organization to implement innovative solutions that address the root causes of child labour by enrolling at least 300 at risk youth of 14 years and above in accredited vocation skills centers, for a school to work transition opportunities.
Okutho said the partnership will support government efforts of improving the availability of skilled and productive labour force amongst youth.
“It will also enable ICEED to support 500 men and women to improve household income by enhancing and diversifying their livelihoods through income generating activities,’’ said Okutho in a statement.
In his remarks, the Executive Director for ICEED in Malawi, Madalitso Chidumu, said the organization is delighted for this partnership that will help address child labour in the coffee and tea supply chains in Malawi.
Within this action programming, ICEED will collaborate with the ILO Tripartite partners, coffee cooperatives, tea associations and other social partners to address child labour in these supply chains using an Integrated Area Based Approach (ABA), said Chidumu.
ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 countries to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes and also promoting decent work for all women and men.
Malawi has been a member of ILO since 1965.