Parliament has today, 12th April, 2021 started conducting a three-week long Parliamentary Training Programme (PTP) for second cohort of the 2019 to 2025 Members of Parliament. The training aims at sharpening Members’ knowledge with a view of enhancing their contributions in the House.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly, Right Honourable Catherine Gotani Hara, MP, described the PTP as a very significant training for Members of Parliament. “It is therefore, imperative that we give our best, deliberate to the highest degree and come up with solutions that are in the best interests of spearheading development and ending poverty in Malawi. We can only do this, if we are willing to continuously grow and nurture our skills and our knowledge,” said the Speaker.
She further indicated that the PTP should have taken place in the very first few months of Members’ election into Parliament. However, it has been delayed by several factors, such as a lack of resources, competing schedules with various other activities and the worst of it was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Despite these delays, the lessons to be learnt remain as relevant today as they could have been last year. I therefore urge you all to take a keen interest in the training and ensure that you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to be imparted from this training programme,” she added.
On her part, the Clerk of Parliament, Mrs. Fiona Kalemba said the PTP is the most comprehensive capacity building programme for Honourable Members of Parliament. “I am well aware, that all Members have been involved in various capacity building trainings and workshops. I wish to, however, say that while these trainings and workshops were essential, none were as long, as detailed and as comprehensive as this PTP,” the Clerk of Parliament said.
Among others, the training will cover various courses including the State and Governance Architecture, Parliamentary Procedures and Practice, Code of Ethics and Conduct for Members of Parliament, Research and Communication skills in Parliament, Communication Skills for Parliamentarians and National Economy and Policy Analysis with a Focus on Finance, National Budget and the Role of the National Planning Commission. The training has targeted all Members of Parliament except Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Presiding Officers (The Speaker and two Deputy Speakers) and has been divided into 4 cohorts. Since 1994, Parliament of Malawi has conducted the TPT for all cohorts. Previously, the training was being facilitated by the University of Malawi, Chancellor College in Zomba.