By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has tipped Malawi to formulate a national entrepreneurship strategy and optimise the regulatory environment.
This, it says, would help the private sector contribute significantly to national economic growth.
UNDP Economic Adviser for Malawi and Namibia, Alka Bhatia, made the call on Tuesday at the Conference on Trade and Development in Lilongwe.
At the indaba, UNDP also unveiled the 2018 Least Developed Countries Report, titled ‘Entrepreneurship for Structural Transformation: Beyond Business as Usual’.
The report categorises Malawi among 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Bhatia said policymakers should facilitate growth of businesses in the country.
“Entrepreneurship policies need also to foster linkages between firms of different sizes, stages of maturity and sectors, for instance by means of business clusters, networking and alliances which allow for a sustained flow of new ideas into firms throughout their life cycle and enable dynamic growth,” Bhatia said.
Bhatia also said greater attention should be given to the development of domestic supply chains.
Deputy Director of Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Adwell Zembere, said there was need for a clear policy direction.
“What we were looking for was insight into how we can capitalise on our strengths to attain sustainable economic growth,” Zembere said.
Among other things, the 2018 Least Developed Countries Report is encouraging the government to enhance entrepreneurship education and skills development, facilitate technology exchange and innovation, improve access to finance and promote awareness and networking among entrepreneurs.
It highlights that entrepreneurship is dominated by self-employment, which accounts for 70 percent of the total employment, informal micro and small enterprises with low chances of survival and growth and little propensity to innovate.
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