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Hon. Sendeza (right) being briefed by NGORA Data Manager, Patrick Mwale

The Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Honourable Jean Sendeza has called for a vibrant Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) sector which can ably serve the interests of Malawians.

Speaking when she visited the Non-Government Organisation Regulatory Authority (NGORA), formerly NGO Board secretariat in Lilongwe as part of a familiarisation tour of the various establishments under her Ministry on Wednesday, the Minister appealed to the Authority on the need to strengthen efforts in regulating the sector.

“The money that the NGO sector gets from the donors and other development partners is meant to benefit the Malawians, hence it is your duty, as a regulatory body, to ensure that these resources trickle down to ordinary Malawians.”  

She observed that some NGOs are just on paper with nothing tangible to show on the ground describing it as a worrisome development.

According to the NGORA Chief Executive Officer, Voice Mhone, the Authority was established by the NGO Act in 2001, and it is mandated to register and regulate the operations of NGOs in the country.

“Currently, we have a total of 920 registered NGOs, and 750 of these have active projects.  699 of them are local NGOs representing 76 percent of the sector while 221 are international, representing 24 percent,” said Mhone, adding that in 2022, the NGOs had an estimated income of K1 trillion.

Mhone, however, bemoaned failure by some NGOs to submit their annual audited financial reports to the Authority as required by law. Describing the failure as non-compliance, Mhone, said last year (2022), 307 NGOs submitted their annual audited financial reports to the Authority while 408 NGOs did not submit.

Later, the Minister visited the Adult Literacy Training Centre in Area 14 also in Lilongwe, where she expressed government’s commitment to ensure that the place regains its former glory by reviving the facility’s printing press and catering section which are currently not operational.

She advised staff at the Centre to think outside the box, and come up with innovative ideas that will change the face of the centre, saying it has the potential for income generation.

The Deputy Director of Community Development, Janerose Kantikana responsible for Nutrition and Home Management, bemoaned the shortage of personnel at the centre to effectively implement their programmes

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