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Chilima tells private sector to be innovative if they have to keep afloat

chilima

Vice President, Dr. Saulos Chilima, on Friday challenged the private sector to employ strategies that will keep the corporate world afloat even in times of economic hardships.

Chilima made the remarks during official opening of the 2017 Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA) National Executive Conference held at Club Makokola Retreat in Mangochi where Chief Executive Officers, Directors and Managers of about 40 private and public institutions gathered.

The Vice President said it is pleasing that TEVETA had drawn together leaders of both giant and upcoming businesses, companies and organizations in the country as one way of promoting innovative business practices for increased productivity.

He challenged the corporate executives to use the skills they would acquire through the conference to re-engineer their respective businesses and forge ahead.

“Any strategy can be excellent but the difference lies in the execution. So, make sure you utilize and implement what will be discussed here to improve your businesses…we need to turn around our economy from a predominantly importing and consuming country to one that is producing and exporting and this shift cannot be done if the private sector is left out in all development phases,” he said.

The Veep further gave the corporate executives a few tips on how to survive turbulence and remain strong in the corporate world urging the corporate executives to never panic or carry out knee jerk decisions but stay focused like a Lion on the hunt and deploy short term interventions while maintaining the long term view.

He assured the business captains that government is doing everything possible to ensure that the business environment in the country is conducive for them to thrive.

The conference was part of TEVETA’s initiative of Private Sector Training Programme (PSTPs) aimed at ensuring increased productivity at the workplace and also supporting the attainment of a conducive environment for private sector growth.

The conference was held under the theme, “Steering Organizations through Business Turbulence,” and the guest speaker was South African branding and reputation guru, Thebe Ikalafeng.

On his part, Ikalafeng also took the participants through a presentation titled, “Innovative business practices for increased productivity in a turbulent business environment.”

 

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HealthHighlight of The YearLatest NewsTechnology

UNILIA students invent smart stick to aid the visually impaired

Mwale demostrates how stick works to Dr Chilima

Students from University of Livingstonia (Unilia) have devised a sensory walking stick that will help people with impaired vision to detect any objects in their way when they are walking.

The new innovation which is called Smart Stick was revealed Friday in Mzuzu during Unilia’s Computer Engineering, Public Health, and Food Security and Nutrition Symposium.

Among others, the stick has been devised with the ability to detect moisture, distance and light feelings for the people which will help them to walk without any difficulties.

Fourth year Computer Engineering student Tikhala Mwale, who made a presentation of the Smart Stick at the symposium, said the innovation marks the beginning of a new chapter for people who have sight challenges.

“This is a breakthrough for people with blindness challenges. They will no longer struggle to walk on their own as the stick guides them wherever they go. We have devised this stick in such a way that it uses three feelings of moisture, distance and light which enables them to automatically receive audio directions whenever they are walking even during the night,” he said.

Mwale said among others, the stick uses locally available cell batteries which make it even affordable to people who live in remote areas where there is no electricity.

He explained that the new innovation would help students with impaired vision in their education pursuit as they would be encouraged to go to school on their own without the help of others.

Director of Health Technical Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Benson Chilima expressed delight and praise for the students’ innovation.

“This clearly demonstrates that as students who will be graduating in a days’ time, you are ready to help the country offer solutions to a number of challenges that the country is facing”.

“The industry out there needs graduates who are valuable and ready to give solutions that they have learnt from the four years they have been studying,” he said.

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TNM donates MK3 million towards ICT Association of Malawi Lakeshore conference

TNM C.O – E.S with Wisely Phiri ICTAM President

TNM plc has donated MK3 million towards the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) Lakeshore conference to be held from 6 to 7 October in Mangochi.

The conference is a platform for local innovators to showcase their latest innovations and will be attended by Malawi’s Vice President, Right Hon. Dr. Saulos Chilima as guest of honour.

TNM Chief Officer – Enterprise Services, Vishwajeet Deshmukh speaking during the cheque handover ceremony said that TNM as a company is working to play a role in the ICT transformation within Malawi. This has been necessitated by the diffusion of innovations and the current shift in technology; from analogue to digital.

He said ICTAM is also playing a similar role hence TNM’s decision to team up with the association in the innovation awards. “ICTAM is encouraging local innovators to do something significant and contribute to the country’s economic growth.” Deshmukh said.

TNM being a local company would also want to see Malawi produce more innovations. ICTAM president Wisely Phiri, said TNM is a major player in the ICT sector, and that ICTAM are confident that this partnership will encourage local innovators. The best innovation winner of this year’s ICT Innovation awards will attend the Commonwealth ICT Application Forum in Rwanda in 2018.

ICTAM’s ambition is to put Malawi on the world map, by doing something different and this resonates well with TNM’s strategic vision within the #TNMthinkDigital campaign. Some of the ICTAM innovation categories are agriculture, education and training, gender, youth and vulnerable groups, health care delivery, water and sanitation and the environment, among others.

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Malawi making strides in right to access to information

Dausi at the Right to know conference

Government says it is making significant strides in the promotion of the right to information and right to access to information in the country.

The Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi, said during the commemoration of the International Right to know Day at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

Dausi said government has made good progress in promoting freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of the media to publish freely in the country without been questioned.

The Minister explained that Malawi adopted the information regime which has enabled it to fully participate in the commemoration of the day.

“The commemoration of the International Right to know Day started way back in 2002 when advocates of the right to information gathered in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since then, commemorations have continued to be done on yearly basis, particularly in those countries with legislation on Access to Information.” Dausi recalled.

He hoped that the country would continue to commemorate the day on yearly basis from now onwards in line with this principle that Government enacted the Access to Information law (Number 13 of 2017).

Dausi said the enactment of the law on Access to Information would eventually have a very positive impact on the enjoyment of many other rights such as the right to freedom of expression.

“The enactment of the Access to Information Act has not just come accidentally. It has come as an attempt to bring to life the Constitutional provisions on the right to information and right to access to information.” He observed.

Dausi added that with the passage of this new law, Malawians could now exercise their right to access public information to the extent that such information is required for the enjoyment of their right.

“By passing the law on access to information, the Government has now made it possible for many Malawians to begin to exercise their rights as enshrined in the Constitution.” The Minister viewed.

He singled out that the enactment of the Access to Information Act is part of the ongoing reforms in the public sector Government has been championing since 2014.

“These reforms are meant to make Government transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of the people. Our Government is committed to ensuring that we raise the bar of excellence in so far as the provision of public services is concerned,” he emphasized.

Dausi said government considered the need to empower citizens to demand better services, more accountability and transparency in the workings of government institutions in the quest to fight Corruption.

“The passing of the Access to Information Act empowers the people as rights holders to demand their rightful entitlements,” he noted.

Dausi thanked United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the financial support that they have provided to this activity.

“We thank them for the continued support to all other related activities pertaining to the law on access to information. We anticipate a lot of capacity building initiatives in the near future targeted at oversight institutions, information holders, and the media,” the Minister pointed out.

Commissioner for Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Patrick Semphere said their organization would need material and financial support to ensure that Access to information ACT is implemented in full.

He said MHRC human resource would require capacity building in order to understand better the ACT.

Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Media Information and Communication, Samuel Kawale called upon various institutions to familiarize themselves with Access to Information Act.

He said for the institutions to make to use of it they need to fully understand it and take a leading role in sensitizing the people on its importance.

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Egenco projects stability in power supply in the country

Nkula A Power Falls

The Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has intensified efforts aimed at stabilising power supply in the country.

Egenco Chief Executive Officer William Liabunya has however blamed siltation in the company’s ponds as the leading factor in the ongoing erratic power supply.

Speaking after Natural Resources, Energy and Minister Aggrey Masi toured some rehabilitation projects in Tedzani and Nkula Power Stations on Tuesday, Liabunya further added that siltation has resulted in the company generating only 220 megawatt out of the available 333.40 megawatt.

Said Liabunya: “Siltation remains a challenge in all our power stations. There is a lot of silt that has accumulated over the years and is impacting negatively on our duty to generate enough electricity. Water storage capacities of our ponds has drastically reduced due to such silt.”

Egenco has so far dredged about 72, 380 metric tons of silt from Nkula pond alone, and another MK4.5billion dredging project by Motal Engil has kick-started.

Under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) project, Nkula A power station is completely shut down and is undergoing a rehabilitation, modernization and upgrading, a work scheduled to be complete in June next year. Soon after this, Liabunya said, project on upgrading Tedzani 3 will kick start, to be followed by a construction of Tedzani 4. This means the soonest Malawians can start dreaming of stable hydro electricity power supply is 18 months.

Taking his turn, Minister Masi said Egenco’s efforts to stabilise power supply must be supported.

“Egenco’s claims are valid and it is just by God’s grace that we still have power in some hours of the day. However, we, as a country should despair as there is hope insight,” said Masi.

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Malawi to regulate drones

Drone

The Department of Civil Aviation-DCA is to draft Aviation Regulations to facilitate the integration of unmanned aircrafts also known as drones into the national airspace.

Public Relations Officer of the Aviation Department, James Chakwera said the regulations will bring sanity in the operation of drones in various fields.

“You may be aware that drones are one of the new technological advancements in the country. Like any other country in Africa, we are overwhelmed by the new development, we believe the use of these drones is not well monitored. We have also discovered that there is no order in the way people use drones in the country,” he said.

Chakwera was quick to point out that the regulations that government is formulating will not at any point hamper any developmental activity that drones do.

“It is true that these drones are helpful in various developmental works like health. You might be aware that UNICEF did a pilot project on these drones by using them to transfer blood samples in the rural areas while others use them to take pictures in places they can’t reach.

“However despite all these roles that drone plays, we have discovered that it can pause a threat to the community and to normal aircrafts. For instance, if you put a camera on the drone and fly it without proper procedure, it might infringe on other people’s privacy”, He added

The government of Malawi has already drafted the regulations on the use and operation of drones with the funding from UNICEF and is currently soliciting input from the public.

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InfrastructureLatest NewsTechnology

Construction work to strengthen power transmission in Lilongwe under way

Bunda t station

Construction work is in progress towards strengthening power transmission network in Lilongwe City.

These on-going works are on track for the construction of the new 66 kilovolts (kV) Lilongwe-Ring Transmission Line.

The 32 kilometer line will go round the city from Bunda Turn-Off substation to Lilongwe A substation (near Town Hall).

Then to Area 48 substation (behind Bingu National Stadium) up to Kauma substation, before connecting Lilongwe C substation (near Kamuzu Barracks) and back to Bunda Turn-Off.

The project involves replacing the wooden poles with self-supporting steel towers and partly monopoles, in order to avoid vandalism.

Once completed, the project is expected to stabilize electricity supply within Lilongwe City as each substation within the ring will be fed via two feeders.

Hence any fault on any section of the feeder, will not affect other sections as is the case with the current system.

This will ensure continuity of power supply within the city. This project is part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funded $350.7 million Malawi Compact courtesy of tax payers from the People of United States of America (USA).

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Airtel admits facing network challenges

airtel

Mobile phone network provider, Airtel Malawi, has admitted facing challenges in their on-going network upgrade exercise which they did not anticipate resulting in occasional service gaps.

Since the commencement of the upgrade works, clients on the network have had to contend with intermittent call drops, silent calls as well as slower speed of the internet in some pockets of the cities caused by the said challenges but Airtel has indicated they are taking steps in addressing the problem.

“To fast track closure of the remaining service gaps in the cities, we have delayed progressing with upgrading of the rest of the country in order to focus on fine-tuning the network and improving customer experience. The remaining areas of the country are planned to be upgraded from end September once the fine-tuning in the cities is completed,” said a press release which has been signed by Managing Director, Charles Kamoto.

Charles Kamoto and Davie Maunde cutting the ribbon to officially open the shop

Airtel Malawi initially set out to implement the network upgrade exercise from May to August starting with the cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre before proceeding to the rest of the country. So far 290 sites have been upgraded in the three cities.

The upgrade has seen 3G data service being expanded to areas that previously did not have coverage and now more customers are able to access the data service. In addition to this, the cities have consequently experienced an unprecedented 30 percent in data traffic during the first month of the upgrade.

“4G services have also been deployed in the cities and internal testing is in progress before commercial launch to be communicated soon. The launch of Airtel 4G will define customer experience of data services in the country,” Airtel Malawi has said.

The mobile network provider has assured its customers that very soon the pain they have experienced will be over and they will be able to enjoy the best Airtel network experience.

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Government commends TNM for pioneering innovative CT products and services

dausi

Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi commends Malawi’s integrated premier mobile network provider TNM for pioneering innovative ICT products and services in the country.

Dausi said this in Lilongwe during the launch of TNM’s 4.5 G/LTE under the banner – Think Digital.

Dausi said the Think Digital theme complements government’s efforts in meeting the aspirations of the nation

“On behalf of government, I wish to commend TNM for taking another bold step forward in its pioneering tradition. The launch of the 4.5 G/LTE platform becomes another first and represents progress in TNM’s journey from 2G,3G and 4G,” said Dausi.

He said government realizes that reliable mobile and ICT services are crucial in ushering tangible growth and fulfilling the dream of an upwardly mobile society.

“TNM’s 4.5 G /LTE network will now make it possible for e-government projects to start taking shape while improving the activities of public sector organizations,” he said.

Partridge and Dausi

In his remarks, TNM Chairman Dr George Partridge said TNM will continue to invest in Malawi’s economy through progressive upgrades.

“TNM is ready to deliver world-class ICT services to the next generation of progressive enterprises. Any business looking to unlock greater operational efficiency and overall productivity should look no further than TNM as their ICT partner,” said Partridge.

Partridge added that the latest TNM upgrade delivers a super-fast, secure, reliable experience for customers, enabling improved business connectivity services.

The upgrades in the TNM network also enables other new business services like Broadband Connect, Virtual Private Network (VPN), Microsoft Licensing, Business Connect, Customer Care Centre (CCC) and TNM Mobile WAN.

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Standard Bank Malawi engages Department of Information 

Standard Bank logo

The Standard Bank of Malawi on Wednesday engaged officers in the Department of Information for the South on some of a range of its products and services.

The products among others include bank transactions, savings and funeral policies.

Addressing the gathering, Sales Team Leader for Standard Bank – Blanytre Branch Nduka Chiotcha said the meeting was one way of informing the officers on some of the bank’s products that are on offer to enable them access and benefit from them.

“As a Bank, we value customers so much. That is why we thought of engaging in a door to door  strategy to orient different officers including government officers on various bank products and certain services they can get,” she said adding: “We are expecting positive results from this kind of interaction.”

In his remarks, Regional Informational Officer for the South, Arnold Namanja said the orientation was important for members of staff especially those who do not have bank accounts because they would have credible user services from Standard Bank.

“In her presentation, the issue of funeral policies was the most relevant to the officers because it reduces the burden of expenses during funerals because most of the times funerals are issues of emergency,” said Namanja.

Later, the members of staff were also oriented by African Astro Mobile Company which makes and sells smart phones on credit to civil servants.

Speaking at the orientation, Tiyamike Mwikhala from Astro Mobile said their company emphasizes on selling mobile phones on credit to those people who are employed and that it is paid in installments with a deduction of a certain percentage from their salaries.

“We started with the Malawi Police Service and we have sold most of our phones to them but now we have been granted permission to sell our products to other government officers as well,” Mwikhala said.

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