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March 12, 2014

OVOP Strategic Plan National Consultative Workshop

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) jointly with the One Village One Product (OVOP) Secretariat organised a day long national consultative workshop on the review and finalisation of the 2014 to 2019 OVOP strategic plan with technical and financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The national consultative workshop was held at Sunbird Lilongwe on 12th March 2014 to seek wider views from varied stakeholders to accord the plan a full scope of knowledge, expertise and experiences from diverse sector perspectives of the economy.

The opening ceremony of the workshop was presided over by the Director of Planning in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr Edson Mphande, and JICA Malawi Resident Representative, Mr Katsuro Saito. In his remarks, Mr Mphande informed the workshop that OVOP was a community centred and demand driven concept whose main focus was to add value to goods and services available within the communities. He then lamented that a lot had been achieved under the OVOP programme yet there has been no approved blueprint to guide its implementation. He therefore hoped that the workshop would facilitate consensus among stakeholders to come up with outcomes that the OVOP programme should accomplish in the next five years of the planning period. Mr Mphande then expressed appreciation for the continuous support that JICA has been rendering for the past 10 years since the inception of the programme.

Taking his turn, JICA Malawi Resident Representative hoped that the outcomes of the workshop would go a long way in coming up with a credible strategic plan which in turn spur improved service delivery of OVOP activities and the smooth administration of the programme in general. It was also the anticipation of the JICA Malawi Office that the new strategic plan would be more focused and clearly identified with Malawi Government policies and initiatives such as the National Export Strategy (NES), and that the Ministry of Industry and Trade will strongly support its implementation and monitor progress through the comprehensive mechanisms of the Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development Sector Wide Approach (TIP-SWAP). Additionally, it was the hope of the Resident Representative too that the revised strategic plan would improve the decision making process as well as provide criteria for selecting OVOP groups.

OVOP started operating in Malawi with an official launch and establishment of a National Secretariat in 2003 but was operating without a strategic plan. This time around the National Coordinator of the Programme, Mrs Kamia Kaluma-Sulumba is certain that the new strategic plan will be approved by government adding that the plan is likely to ensure the smooth running of the OVOP Secretariat as well as proper coordination with the Malawi Government and other stakeholders. Indeed upon approval by government, the strategic plan will inevitably afford the National Secretariat and all stakeholders renewed impetus to smoothly and effectively deliver improved OVOP programme services.

PhotoWorkshop Participants’ Group Photo


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