Every year the Tea Association of Malawi Limited (TAML) in collaboration with its members, partners and the government, holds a Partners’ Engagement Workshop (formerly Gender Learning and Sustainability symposium. The workshop is an opportunity for TAML to update its current and prospective partners the interventions being implemented as regards to promoting decent work in the tea sector, progress being made and challenges faced.
Participants' Group photo
For 2021, the workshop took place in Salima at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel from 4th – 5th November. The workshop was held under the theme “Decent work for women and men in the Malawi Tea Industry”. the workshop was made possible with financial and technical support from International Labour Organization (ILO), Solidaridad and Trust Africa, Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Fairtrade Africa, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and Plantations Agriculture Workers’ Union (PAWU).
In attendance, was Honourable Dr. Patricia Annie Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare who was the Guest of Honor. She was accompanied by Honourable Ms. Vera Kamtukule, Deputy Minister of Labour (now Minister of Labour) and other government officials from the Ministry of Gender and Ministry of Labour, Representatives from Solidaridad, ETP, GAIN, WUSC, PAWU, TAML and TAML members.
Honourable Dr. Patricia Annie Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare
Honourable Ms. Vera Kamtukule, Deputy Minister of Labour (now Minister of Labour)
In welcoming the guest of honour and all participants, Mr. Sangwani Hara, Chairperson of the Board of Directors for TAML could not hide his excitement standing at the podium to deliver his welcoming remarks. He said it was a great achievement by the Tea industry in Malawi to organize such an event to engage the government and its partners. He said that the workshop was evidence to TAMLs continued effort towards promotion of decent work in the tea industry. he reminded the gathering that the workshop was a continuation of what was previously Gender Learning and Sustainability Symposium. He closed by thanking the government and all TAML partners for always heeding to TAML’s call whenever need arises. He asked for a continued cordial working relation between TAML and the government, as well as, TAML partners.
Mr. Sangwani J. Hara, Chairperson - TAML Board of Directors
In her speech, the guest of honour commended TAML’s commitment in supporting the government’s effort in promoting decent work. She said that the workshop was conducted at the right time as it was the time the country is facing a rise in number of cases on sexual harassment targeted at women and girls in organizations/companies. Furthermore, at a time when there are numerous complaints relating to miserable wages. In her closing, she urged TAML not to relent in sensitizing its members about violence against women and girls and other vulnerable groups, to put in place reliable complaints reporting and referral mechanisms and ensure disciplinary actions are meted out to those perpetuating vices.
The workshop was spiced up by presentations from TAML, TAML partners and members. All these highlighted the work being done in the tea industry. Thereafter, discussions followed in identifying gaps for further programming and identifying areas for collaboration.