Lilongwe - Malawi has emerged as one of the pioneering countries actively engaged with the Global Accelerator, following the expressions of interest by His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the President of Malawi in becoming a pathfinder country of the during the UN General Assembly in September 2022.
In line with the implementation strategy of the Global Accelerator, a UN scoping mission took place in Malawi on 19 -23 June 2023, with the participation of the representatives from the ILO, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, and UN Women to initiate the roadmap development process in the country. The mission focused on issues that the Global Accelerator could help address such as policy gaps, untapped job creation potential, social protection coverage and adequacy gaps, and decent employment deficits. It also aimed to identify strategic entry points for the Global Accelerator in the country, key sectors of the economy where an integrated policy and financing approach would be relevant. Additionally, the mission explored financing options and strategies, including considering the involvement of the Integrated National Financing Frameworks processes where applicable.
During its visit, the mission also held several consultations with ministers, government officials, social partners, UN agencies, development partners, and civil society organizations to glean perspectives on the expected impact of the Global Accelerator (GA), highlight the required coordination at the national level and to initiate the roadmap development process for the implementation of the initiative in the country.
The relevance of the inclusive development model promoted by the Global Accelerator, aligned with Malawi Vision 2063, was recognized as a common conclusion of the consultation meetings held with various ministries and government institutions. It was agreed that the implementation of the Global Accelerator would significantly advance the country's policies and strategies, including the Job Creation Strategy, the upcoming National Social Protection Policy, National Employment and Labour Market Policy, and the forthcoming National Skills Strategy.
Trade unions, employers' organizations, and civil society also expressed support for the Global Accelerator in Malawi during the consultation meetings. While the trade unions anticipate that the initiative would address issues related to the creation of long-term decent jobs, improved working conditions, and enhanced livelihoods, especially for agricultural workers, employers’ representatives recognized the GA`s potential to promote decent working conditions and job creation. Development partners, including the World Bank, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) , the European Union, and Irish Aid, correspondingly acknowledged the relevance of the Global Accelerator in Malawi and stated that they plan to align their support and investments with a focus on social protection, productivity improvement, and the green transition.
After the consultations held by the UN mission, a two-day participatory diagnostic and prioritization workshop took place on 22 and 23 June with the participation of all the relevant stakeholders at the country level. Participants engaged in discussions, analysing evidence, and identifying significant opportunities and gaps in policies, actions, and areas for scaling up. Working in different groups, participants collaboratively developed a common vision that will be incorporated into the roadmap of the Global Accelerator in Malawi.
As a result of the mission, the coordinating structure of the Global Accelerator at the national level was established, with the Minister of Labour leading the implementation and the Ministry of Finance as a co-lead. The Cabinet Committee on Economy, comprising relevant ministries, was designated as the high-level coordination mechanism, supported by a technical secretariat. The finalization of the national roadmap based on the inputs gathered from the participatory diagnostic workshop is scheduled for July 2023 as another major outcome and the next step. The roadmap, which will serve as a guiding framework for the country's implementation of the Global Accelerator, is planned to be presented by the Government of Malawi at the SDG Acceleration Day on 17 September 2023 during the UN SDG Summit 2023.