16th November, 2020

Presidential Advisor on Non-Governmental Organizations Affairs (NGOs), Martha Kwataine, says the Tonse government is committed to crating on all-inclusive governance that takes on board all stakeholders to enable them realize their potential and contribute to the national development.

Kwataine made the remarks in Lilongwe on Monday, 16th November, 2020 when she opened the validation workshop for the study report on regulations of the civil society organizations (CSOs) and NGOs in Malawi. The report which Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) compiled with support from IM Swedish Development Partner, highlights threats and lapses and their impact on the work of the CSOs and NGOs and the civic space in Malawi.

Kwataine said the Tonse administration is aware of the challenges that CSOs and NGOs are facing in areas of funding, operating environment, and also attempts by other personalities to shrink the civic space of the organizations. ” CSOs and NGOs in this country play a very critical role in different sectors i.e. health, education, agriculture, climate change, environmental and human rights, among others. My office will do all it takes to accord CSOs in Malawi the respect they deserve by making sure that the operating environment is conducive,” assured.

However, Kwataine appealed to the CSOs to deliver advocacy that is backed by evidence and studies as MEJN as done, which she said, could potentially change the discourse and shape the direction in as far as operating civic space is concerned.

“It is known fact that even for the much needed change that we are all cherishing now could not be achieved if was not for the big role and contribution that CSOs some of which are seating in this room made towards the change agenda. Let me reassure you therefore that the Tonse administration is committed to contact and dialogue for us to move as one entity,” she said.

In his remarks, the NGO Board Chief Executive Officer, Voice Mhone, said the government is open to suggestions and proposals on what need to be incorporated in in the NGO Policy. Mhone disclosed that the policy intends to create an enabling legal and institutional framework for protection and participation of stakeholders in the NGO sector and strengthen mechanism for collaborative relationship between NGOs, the government, funding agencies and other stakeholders.

Written By: Watipaso Mzungu & Compiled By: Chimwemwe Songelani (MEJN)

below is a presentation of the report on “Regulatory Threats and Lapses and Impacts on CSOs/NGOs  and Civic Space in Malawi” which was funded by IM SWEDISH DEVELOPMENT PARTNER through Malawi Economic Just Network (MEJN)

https://mejn.mw/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Regulatory-Threats-To-Civic-Space-in-Malawi.pdf

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