Presidential Advisor on Religious Affairs Reverend Brian Kamwendo has said that President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s administration is working hard to organise the mining sector so that it becomes the financing instrument for social protection programmes and interventions.
Kamwendo made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday when he officially opened a training workshop for faith leaders on policy and budget analysis.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) has organized the training workshop with financial and technical support from NORAD/DANIDA through the Norwegian Church Aid and Danish Church Aid.
MEJN is implementing a five-year social accountability project titled “Fighting Inequalities in the Social Sectors.”
The project is being implemented at both national and district level, with Mangochi as the beneficiary district.
Kamwendo stated the social protection programs and interventions that the government is implementing are “very key and have potential to transform the livelihood of citizens and graduate them from being poor to a level where they can sustain themselves”.
“But for the government to do that, we need adequate resources to finance such interventions. That is why in a bid to maximize domestic revenues, the Chakwera administration is trying to organise the mining sector by trying to put in place the Malawi Mining Regulatory Authority and establish the Malawi Mining Company,” he said.
The presidential aide said the government recognizes the role the church and civil society organizations are playing in complementing efforts to improve the social conditions of the people.
At this point, Kamwendo commended MEJN and its partners for incorporating faith leaders in its programming.
He said faith leaders wield respect both from ordinary citizens as well as public officers because of their neutrality.
“You made the right choice because as faith leaders we have a moral appeal that when we speak, the powers that be will always listen.
“We have a voice of reason that is neutral for we speak the heart of God not of men. So be assured of positive results from your project,” he said.
Speaking earlier, MEJN Vice Board Chairperson Reverend Innocent Chikopa said the recent devaluation of Malawi currency and the ever rising cost of living has potential to push the majority of the people into the ultra-poor bracket.
Chikopa said this calls for coordinated efforts in providing checks and balances to duty-bearers to be good stewards in managing public resources so that the status of our economy improve for the better.
“As MEJN, we shall endevour advancing a good economic governance agenda by engaging with relevant authorities at every level within the broader policy discourse.
“MEJN will continue to advance evidence-based advocacy by continually conducting policy research and analysis that informs the authorities in decision-making,” he said.