UN Hears from Youth | THE MALAWI WE WANT

At the invitation of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malawi, Ms. Rebeccah Adda-Dontoh, our founder, Ms. Nthanda Manduwi was one of 3 youth invited to the UN Country Team Annual Strategic Planning & Reflection Retreat.

The UN Engagement with Youth in Malawi session focused on unlocking the potential for young people in the country. Chaired by Naomi Mnthali of UNESCO, the session brought together a diverse panel of speakers who shared their insights and experiences on empowering youth and fostering meaningful engagement in development planning and implementation.


  1. Mr. Williot Lumbe – Director of Programs, National Youth Council
  2. Ms. Nthanda Manduwi – Founder Ntha Foundation, Economist, Human Rights and Policy Advocate, and a NextGen UNDP Graduate Programme, NY | Young entrepreneur
  3. Mr. Alpha Phiri – CEO and Founder of Value Loans Microfinance

Session: What young people in Malawi need to support Vision 2063

The session aimed to facilitate interaction between UNCT members and young people to understand their vision for “the Malawi we want” and ideate approaches for more meaningful engagement in development planning and implementation.

  1. Mr. Williot Lumbe, Director of Programs, National Youth Council: Mr. Lumbe provided valuable insights into the initiatives undertaken by the National Youth Council to empower and support young people in Malawi. His presentation shed light on the challenges faced by youth and highlighted the importance of inclusive and youth-centered development approaches.
  2. Ms. Nthanda Manduwi, Founder Ntha Foundation: As a young entrepreneur and advocate for youth empowerment, Ms. Manduwi shared her vision for supporting young people in realizing their potential and contributing to Vision 2063. She emphasized the need for access to education, skills development, and opportunities for entrepreneurship to create a conducive environment for youth-led development.
  3. Mr. Alpha Phiri, CEO and Founder of Value Loans Microfinance: Mr. Phiri shared his experiences in providing financial services to young entrepreneurs through Value Loans Microfinance. He highlighted the role of access to finance in empowering youth and enabling them to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations.

A Recap of the Day:

The session began with introductions of the guest speakers and an overview of their engagement with young people in Malawi. This was followed by breakout discussions led by young facilitators, allowing participants to delve deeper into the key issues and challenges facing youth in the country. The plenary report back session drew out recurring themes from the discussions, leading to insightful exchanges and reflections. The session concluded with a summary of key takeaways and conclusions drawn from the discussions.

More words from our founder:

Personal Background and Vision: As a young woman dedicated to leadership in development, I bring a diverse background in education, career progression, and business leadership to the table. With a foundation in Economics, I have navigated my career path with a focus on the power of Creativity and Innovation. My vision is to empower the youth of Malawi, Africa, and beyond, unlocking their potential and fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Offering to Youth: Through the Ntha Foundation and the Kwathu Kollective, we offer a comprehensive suite of programmes and resources aimed at empowering young people. We have two flagship programmes: The Nyenyezi Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and the M’mawa Apprenticeship Programme. Both these programmes include mentorship, skills development workshops, access to funding and resources, and platforms for networking and collaboration. Our goal is to equip youth with the tools they need to succeed in the modern economy, be it as employers or employees, so they can make a positive impact on their communities.

Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation: We are actively fostering youth entrepreneurship and innovation through our initiatives and innovations such as our e-learning platform: Digital Skills for Africa. By partnering with organisations like the World Bank, the EU, GIZ, and multiple Universities in Malawi, we have been able to provide training in digital technology and business management, enabling young people to start and grow their own businesses. Through digital technology, we are building the capacities of young people, empowering them to harness the power of the digital economy.

Contribution to Job Creation and Economic Growth: Our efforts are making a tangible impact on job creation and revenue generation at both individual and institutional levels. By supporting young entrepreneurs, we are not only creating employment opportunities but also driving economic growth and contributing to the country’s revenue in local and foreign currency. Our focus on entrepreneurship is key to unlocking the potential of Malawi’s youth and driving sustainable development.

Role of UN in Advancing Youth: The United Nations plays a crucial role in advancing the youth of Malawi by capitalising on their digital capability potential and leveraging the demographic dividend. By digitalising social, economic, and political systems, the UN can empower young people to drive positive change in their communities. Investing in business infrastructure and skills development will further unlock the entrepreneurship potential of youth, fostering innovation and economic growth. By fostering global, regional, and local public-private partnerships, the UN can amplify the impact of youth innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, driving inclusive and sustainable development.

By harnessing the digital capabilities and entrepreneurial spirit of Malawi’s youth, we can unlock their potential to drive positive change and foster economic growth. Through collaboration with the UN and other stakeholders, we can create a future where young people are empowered to lead and thrive in the digital economy.

Nthanda Manduwi, Ntha Foundation, Founder

This session of the UN Engagement with Youth in Malawi series provided a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration between UNCT members and young people. By listening to the voices and perspectives of youth, we can work together to create a more inclusive and youth-centered approach to development in Malawi.

Work With Us

Want to partner on or fund one of our programmes / initiatives? We are always open to collaborations and partnerships. Contact our Business Development Associates; Ms. Abigail Zingani and Yankho Kamtukulo via contact@kwathucentre.org, or give us a call(direct or WhatsApp) on +265991850749.

To keep up with the work of the Ntha Foundation, our hubs under the Kwathu Kollective, our initiatives, and our projects, follow us on social media:




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