Macoha gets boost | The Times Group

Post was last updated: March 30, 2017

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), with funding from the European Union, has handed over textile equipment worth over K80 million to the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) Bangwe Weaving Factory.

The equipment comes as part of the government public sector reforms and was initiated through the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Malawi Enterprise Productivity Enhancement (Mepe) project.

Speaking at the event, Comesa Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, said Comesa’s aim is to ensure that the value chain approach is extended to more members to enhance the trade impact.

Ngwenya said the textile sector is key in economic development, hence he would like to see the factory become a centre of excellence for the Comesa bloc.

He said the new equipment will enhance productivity and quality, making the products more competitive on both the local and foreign markets.

“The market for products produced here can go beyond the region, if this centre becomes the regional hub for the textile industry. It is important that together we should do a baseline assessment for this project and see how we can grow this place,” he said.

Ngwenya said in 2015, the textile and garments imports for Malawi were estimated at $153 million and this gives an idea of the local market demand.

He said on estimate, there is a demand of about 50,000 pieces of police and nurses’ uniforms per annum, with estimated earnings of about $1.5 million annually.

Minister of Industry and Trade, Joseph Mwanamvekha, who was the guest of honour, said Malawi stands to benefit more if the factory becomes the region’s centre of excellence.

He said with increased production and high quality, access to markets will not be a problem.

“In the past, Macoha has been getting orders from across the world, but they could not meet the demand due to low production,” Mwanamvekha said.

He said with the new equipment, the Bangwe Factory ought to open its doors to the general public to make sure the machinery is used to its full capacity.

“Today, 53 industrial grade machines will be shared between Macoha Bangwe Weaving Factory and Lilongwe Comsip Textiles Cooperative Society according to their capacities.

“It is our expectation that these machines can be accessible to the general public, of course at a fee, to help improve quality for SMEs and groups. This is, therefore, the right time for those who are still working individually to join a cooperative,” he said.

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