President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika on Thursday received a Nelson Mandela Leadership Award from the Providence Industrial Mission (PIM) in recognition for his development efforts in the country, particularly aimed at empowering women and the youth.

The award was presented to the President by PIM’s foreign mission representative, Dr. Terrence Griffiths during the opening of the Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College which is situated at the PIM headquarters in Chiradzuru.

Presenting the award, Dr. Griffiths said the PIM foreign mission has bestowed the Malawi leader the prestigious award because he has proved to be a committed leader who is implementing various socio-economic projects with great emphasis on the youth.

“Skills development is most empowering, especially to the youth, it promotes people’s adaptation to the evolving world and also facilitates the collaboration of government and social development partners through well trained labour force,” Griffiths said.

He said through the training that will be provided by the Aida Chilembwe Community Technical College and the rest that are and will be constructed in the country, Malawi will groom responsible and productive citizens that will add value to the nation.

Technical Education, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Training Authority’s (TEVETA) Board Chairperson, Gilbert Chilinde described the community technical colleges project as a way of bringing practical technical skills to the people’s door steps.

Chilinde, however, registered TEVETA’s commitment to ensuring that the training that would be offered in the community technical colleges is of high internationally accepted standards.

“We will ensure that graduates from the colleges attain highly marketable and standardized skills that will improve their personal as well as national development and economic standards,” Chilinde said.

Government is in the process of constructing 28 community technical colleges throughout the country. Meanwhile, 14 colleges have since been completed with the rest pegged for completion by December, 2018.

So far, 700 students have graduated from the already operational colleges in plumbing, tailoring and fashion designing, carpentry and joinery, brick laying, motorcycle mechanics, fabrication and wielding and Information Communication Technology skills.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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