Friday, March 1, 2024

Malawi finds forex spinner as labour exports to Israel generate $475,000


The perennial challenge of generating foreign exchange in Malawi has, on numerous occasions, plunged the nation into the ignominy of forex scarcity. The country’s low production levels have rendered it more of a consumer than an exporter, perpetuating this lamentable status quo. However, a transformative shift appears on the horizon, courtesy of Malawi’s labor export agreement with the State of Israel.

Since the initiation of this youth deployment to Israel, a notable reversal of fortunes has transpired. Minister of Finance, Simplex Chithyola Banda, unveiled a remarkable revelation, disclosing that Malawi notched a staggering $475,000 (approximately K807.5 million) in earnings in December alone, emanating from labor exports to Israel. This windfall underscores the efficacy of the labor export initiative as a potent foreign exchange catalyst, primarily driven by remittances.

“We have started gaining some forex from the Israel labour export, and we are expecting more foreign currency to come this month and in the coming months as recruitment is ongoing. We want to reach as many as 5,000 people that should go to Israel and work,” Chithyola Banda said.

Economic commentator Velli Nyirongo said it was paramount to seize labour export opportunities as the country has failed to provide sufficient employment to citizens.

“It is essential to emphasise the importance of implementing robust oversight and regulatory measures to ensure the fair treatment and protection of Malawian workers abroad,” Nyirongo said.

He added that the government should also evaluate the benefits of utilising agents in this process, saying intergovernmental treaties on labour should be established to safeguard the interests of Malawian workers overseas.

Meanwhile, 119 people left for Israel in the wee hours of Wednesday as agencies are continuing to recruit more people to work on farms in Israel.

Another delegation of 12 people led by the Secretary to the Treasury Betchani Tchereni also travelled to Israel to appreciate the labour export programme and are expected to meet senior government officials from that country.


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