BY DRAXON MALOYA
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country have been challenged to prepare for uncertainties that might disrupt there activities if the tourism sector has to grow their revenue.
During the week long workshop that took place in Mzuzu last week, MSMEs were advised to be on the alert considering how their operations were hugely impacted by the novel Covid-19 pandemic.
In a telephone interview after the workshop, Ministry of Tourism spokesman, Sarah Njanji said the initiative aims at training 500 SMEs across the country as it aimed at equipping them with skills, knowledge and competitiveness’ or operation in the operators on how to mitigate challenges emanating from eventualities.
“We believe that the training will also help participants to run resilient business as the sessions also discussed how they can respond better to crisis and other uncertainties, and the purpose of the trainings was to facilitate the attainment of required skills, knowledge and competences required for operating in the tourism industry in Malawi.
“Our expectation is that we have provided a platform for development of networks that will be useful your their businesses through continuous sharing of ideas, contacts and business opportunitie. She further said the tourism industry has just embarked on its recovery path from impact of the pandemic since it recorded over 35,000 job losses and over K40 billion in revenue losses,” Njanji said.
One of the principal facilitators, Temwa Msiska could not embark on long term plans hence easily bein incapacitated by the effects of Covid-19 which have proven to be catastrophic.
“We could not concentrate on time to review and reflect on how they are conducting their business to strive for actual growth and competitiveness,” Msiska stressed.
A participant, Kondwani Banda who owns SM Lounge in the city of Mzuzu described the year ending as one of the lost opportunities on the business front saying no one expected the pandemic to suffocate their operations.
The trainings are being conducted with a revolving fund of $300 000 (K230 million from the African Development Bank under the project dubbed Promoting Investment and Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector.
At the moment the tourism industry is contributing about 6.7% to Gross Domestic Products (GDP), ultimately the desired target is a contribution of 10%.