Malawi nears completion of labour pact with Israel – Capital Radio Malawi
21 April, 2024

Malawi nears completion of labour pact with Israel

Desperate Malawians departing for Israel

The Malawian government is on the brink of finalising a government-to-government labour export agreement with Israel, marking a significant step in the nation’s quest to provide employment opportunities especially for the youth.

Despite the tumultuous backdrop of an ongoing conflict, which has prompted countries worldwide to repatriate their nationals in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 attack and subsequent war on Gaza, hundreds of young Malawians have been departing for Israel over the past few months to undertake roles primarily in farming and caretaking capacities.

 In a notable development, Malawi’s parliament recently granted approval for the government to proceed with its ambitious program to dispatch 10,000 labourers to Israel.

This decision followed in the wake of extensive fact-finding missions carried out by several government officials to assess the living conditions of approximately 700 Malawians already engaged in employment within Israeli territories.

The urgency surrounding these efforts stems from reports indicating that a fraction of Malawian workers had been absconding from their employment on Israeli farms, citing various reasons for their departure.

To address such concerns comprehensively, the delegation led by Joyce Chitsulo, the mission’s leader, engaged in a series of critical meetings during their visit. These included high-level discussions with Israeli cabinet ministers, visits to Israel’s parliament, as well as direct interactions with labor agents and the workforce.

Presenting the proposed national budget for 2024/2025, Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola Banda underscored the potential of the Malawi-Israel labour export deal to bring about a paradigm shift in the country’s employment landscape.

 The agreement, he emphasised, is designed not only to streamline the employment process but also to safeguard prospective employees against exploitation, thereby opening up new avenues of opportunity for Malawian youth.

Youth rights activist Pemphero Mphande expressed cautious optimism regarding the government’s initiative. While not wholeheartedly endorsing the agreement itself, Mphande lauded the efforts aimed at affording young Malawians access to stable employment opportunities beyond the country’s borders.

Such initiatives, he noted, could potentially stem the tide of illegal migration to neighboring South Africa, where many Malawians find themselves in precarious circumstances and risk deportation.

“Although I may not be in full support of the agreement itself, it is commendable that the government is helping young people find stable employment outside Malawi and therefore reducing the numbers of those fleeing to South Africa,” Mphande said.

 Under the terms of the current Memorandum of Understanding between the two nations, Israel has pledged to provide Malawi with up to 100,000 job opportunities across various sectors. However, the actualisation of the Israel labour export deal hinges on the signing of a bilateral agreement, a process that has momentarily stalled pending further negotiations and deliberations.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *