ECAM: better social dialogue key to better economy

ECAM: better social dialogue key to better economy

Jannes van der Velde Country manager View profile

A better social dialogue is the key to a stronger economy and society in Malawi. Only that will lead to new policies and situation in which the business community can provide for more and better paid jobs for the Malawian population.

Such was the shared insight of both the Malawian business community and the Malawian government at a recent breakfast meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi’s administrative capital, organised by the Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM).

At the meeting sixteen of Malawi’s business leaders as well as cabinet member Vera Kamtukule, responsible for social dialogue, and high representatives of the ministry of Labour were present. DECP’s special advisor Jannes van der Velde, as the keynote speaker, shared DECP’s insights on the future of work, the effects of the Covid-19-crisis and the way forward. His bottom line: governments, labour unions and the business communities have become even more dependent on each other than before. The only mental attitude to move forward is therefore to develop trust in each other. Trust can only be achieved through regular meetings and exchanges of views. Van der Velde’s speech is available here: speech

In a follow up meeting with mrs. Kamtukule, ECAM’s board of trustees chair Zandile Shaba, ECAM’s director George Khaki and DECP shared their insights and discussed possibilities to improve social dialogue in Malawi.

ECAM’s breakfast meeting was the first ‘live’ meeting between government and ECAM’s board of trustees, that was set up to put more weight behind ECAM’s advocacy efforts. Less than two years after its foundation the board of trustees has become a key factor in discussions between Malawi’s business community and the government.


From left to right: ECAM’s general director George Khaki, board of trustees chairperson Zandile Shaba, DECP’s Jannes van der Velde and cabinet member Vera Kamtukule after their follow up meeting on social dialogue in Lilongwe.