A series of workshops aimed at disseminating the recently launched study report produced by AFIDEP on the demographic dividend (DD) for Malawi will begin on 13th October, 2016 at various regional centres across the country. The first workshop, to be held at Mount Soche Hotel will focus on the Southern Region and will run for two days until 14th October, 2016. Two subsequent workshops will be held with the second taking place at Sunbird Capital Hotel targeting the Central Region between 18th and 19th October, 2016. The third and final workshop for the Northern Region will take place in Mzuzu on a day to be announced in due course.
The term DD refers to the rapid economic growth that results from a higher working age adults relative to children if they are economically engaged. Harnessing the DD requires that countries take measures to strengthen the five pillars or “wheels” that drive the DD. These are: accelerating rapid fertility (number of children per woman) decline; providing high quality education and skills development; creating employment opportunities for the resulting big working age population; sustaining good health for the population and; ensuring there is accountability in use of public resources and delivery of public services.
The Malawi study is titled: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend to Accelerate Socio-economic Transformation and Economic Development in Malawi. It was launched in Lilongwe on 6th September, 2016 at Bingu International Convention Centre. The colourful event was officiated by Malawi’s Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Hon. Goodall Gondwe. The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, funded by the One UN Fund through UNFPA Malawi.
The main objective of the regional dissemination workshops is to share the findings from the Malawi demographic dividend study and to obtain commitment from a range of stakeholders to the demographic dividend framework for development.
Specifically, the regional dissemination workshops other than sharing findings will stimulate discussion around the issues that have hampered sustainable development in Malawi; identify actionable, game-changing recommendations around the five pillars of the demographic dividend that can inform the development of a Malawi demographic dividend roadmap and; encourage institutional and individual commitment to the demographic dividend agenda.
Officials from AFIDEP led by the Vice Chair of the Board, Prof. Nyovani Madise, will be the main facilitators of the first two workshops. Others on the team are Dr. Bernard Onyango, Dr. Grace Kumchulesi and Ms. Nissily Mushani. The workshops will be hosted by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development with financial support from UNFPA Malawi.
The target audience for the dissemination includes: district commissioners; directors of planning; district health officers; district education managers; monitoring and evaluation experts; district youth officers; family planning coordinators; traditional and political leaders; district gender officers; youth groups; journalists, civil society; National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises; the private sector and; key partners supporting implementation of the government’s population and development agenda.
Each workshop will comprise of a presentation of the study findings, break-out discussion sessions focusing on the five pillars of the DD and opportunity for personal commitments (pledges) to the DD framework. They will conclude with key take-home messages from the discussions and commitment from Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, UNFPA, and AFIDEP on follow-on plans.