Business Enabling Environment Programme (BEEP)

Date Started:                    1 July 2013

Length of Programme:     Two years

Beneficiaries:                    Ministry of Industry and Trade, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute

  

1. Introduction

The Government of Malawi (GoM) recognises the vital role that the private sector plays in the social and economic development of the country.  The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), on behalf of the government, is taking a leading role in supporting the creation of an enabling environment to encourage private sector investment and economic growth. 

 

The creation of this enabling environment is a key priority set out in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) and the National Export Strategy (NES).  The implementation and coordination of these strategies is achieved through the institutionalisation of a constructive Public Private Dialogue under the Trade and Industry Sector Wide Approach.

 

Following from a Strategic and Functional Review of  the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (SMEDI) in 2013, the MoIT has established a Steering Committee chaired by the Secretary for Industry and Trade to oversee the implementation of two year Work Plans for the three institutions.  These Work Plans focus on building the institutional capacity of MoIT, MITC and SMEDI to deliver their mandates, and to support priority policy reform efforts. The Department of International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom aims to support the Government’s implementation of the Work Plans by providing financial and technical assistance in selected aspects of the Work Plans.

 

It is worth mentioning that terms of reference (ToRs) are developed with the beneficiary institution taking the lead.  Where there is need for consultation with other stakeholders, this process is allowed to take place as it provides an opportunity to learn from one another.  The BEEP Steering Committee therefore decided to set up a Task Force chaired by the Director of Private Sector Development to coordinate these technical meetings.  The Task Force reports to the Steering Committee on a quarterly basis.

 

 

2. Progress made

As a start, Monitor Deloitte, a consulting firm, was engaged in a study whose objective was to undertake a strategic and functional review of the MoIT, MITC and SMEDI.  The outcome of this review was a set of recommendations on the respective strategies and mandates of the organisations, and on how they can be configured to play an effective role in achieving national objectives as set out in the various documents including the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) and the National Export Strategy (NES).

 

Following on these recommendations, a two year work plan has been agreed among the three institutions and other external stakeholders.  The work plan provides guidance on prioritised activities that have been identified to ensure that the MoIT, MITC and SMEDI operate within their clarified mandates.  The work plan lists many activities, some of which will not be financed by DFID.  It is the responsibility of all stakeholders that the remaining activities receive funding through GoM and other partners.

 

A Financial Management System has been procured, installed and tested.  A local Accounting/Auditing firm has been engaged to provide financial management services.

 

The three institutions are developing terms of reference for the following tasks that are in the approved work plan and are being financed from DFID resources.

a)      Consultancy for the finalisation of the Investment Policy and the Private Sector Development Policy and Strategy

b)      Consultancy for the finalisation of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Policy

c)      Consultancy for the drafting of the Investment and Export Promotion Act and the development of a One Stop Shop Centre at MITC

d)     Consultancy for the development of a Small Business Act

e)      Consultancy for the review of the SMEDI Trust Deed

(f)    Consultancy for the review of the Control of Goods Act

(g)   Consultancy to undertake an institutional reform of the MoIT

(h)   Consultancy for the development of a Strategic Plan for SMEDI

(i)     Consultancy for the development of a communication strategy for SMEDI

(j)     Consultancy to undertake a training needs assessment for SMEDI

(k)   Consultancy to collate, analyse and disseminate data on MSMEs, using this information to advocate on behalf of the MSMEs

(l)     Consultancy to undertake a comprehensive tax review for Malawi

 

These ToRs are considered by a Task Force before final approval by the DFID.  Once approved, the ToRs are submitted to DFID for procurement of the goods and services using DFID’s procurement systems.