The European Union funded Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP) has trained government officials in the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation on finance management.

The six-day training took place in Lilongwe.

The objectives of the training were to put in place capacity towards effective planning and effective finance management systems and to articulate strategies and mobilize sector funding, including Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

TVET Institution Governance and Management Specialist Todini Marecha said STEP is keen to contribute in capacity building of the central government personnel on how to articulate strategies and mobilize sector funding.

He added, “the training would ensure that the existing and future income generating initiatives are both viable and sustainable.”

Stella Chidzungu, Principal Accountant for the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation described the training as an eye opener.

“We have learnt budgeting and utilization of resources,” she said.

Graceland Consulting Head of Finance Masida Nyoni said the aim of the training was to build capacity for the financial personnel in the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation.

“These are people that are supposed to account for the funds of government and from donors, so in this meeting we are building capacity for them in terms of financial management and specifically in this approach of Medium-Term Expenditure Framework which is a budgeting approach,” he said.

According to Nyoni, the framework is not a new concept to government.

“Medium-Term Expenditure Framework is the treasury instructions which the Ministry of Finance issued that all the ministries are supposed to comply but for sometime it has not been implemented but now government wants it to implemented,” Nyoni explained.

He concludes, “We have also given them an understanding in terms of resource utilization as a strategic measurement on how effective are the resources. When we say the resources have to be effective, we mean they have to be used for the intended purpose and within the amounts approved by the donor as well as the government.”

The activity is under the European Union funded Skills and Technical Education       Programme which is partially implemented by UNESCO.