Government and Spark Microgrant project have signed a $3.3 million (over K3.3 billion) grant for implementing community driven projects to improve livelihoods in Lilongwe and Nkhotakota districts.
Speaking during the grant signing ceremony in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Spark Microgrant global managing director Laliteswar Kumar said the grant is aimed at achieving their mission of empowering communities to be independent and self-reliant.
He said communities in the two districts will through the project be organise themselves to identify priority projects to improve their lives and community.
Said Kumar: “Through the grant we are promoting a spirit of community’s independence and self-reliance by empowering them to identify the problems affecting them and come up with solutions to address them.
“We are hoping that in doing so we can collectively alleviate poverty and dependence.”
In his remarks, Minister of Local Government Richard Chimwendo Banda said the signing of the grant agreement will support the Malawi 2063 Agenda, especially in the realm of human capital development that will lead the country to becoming an inclusively wealthy, self-reliant and industrialised lower-middle income country.
“The ultimate goal is to ensure that there is value for money while the beneficiaries of the microgrant experience far reaching transformation in various aspects of their livelihoods.
“This investment is expected to result in villages engaging in effective and inclusive community-driven development planning processes, and increased citizen engagement in local development initiatives, and increased satisfaction with citizen engagement processes,” said the minister.
He also said that the initiative would help improve transparency and social cohesion in management of local development projects, which would in turn improve village livelihoods and increase food security, income and assets.
According to Chimwendo-Banda, his ministry would ensure that there are high levels of transparency and accountability throughout all structures of implementation for the successful implementation of the programme.