Illovo Supports Malawi Women's Group Through COVID-19 Business Initiative

Allocates K45 million towards face-mask production by Nchalo and Dwangwa women co-operatives

Illovo Sugar Africa, through its Malawi subsidiary, has harnessed the momentum of its multicountry Covid-19 prevention programme to create economic opportunities for employees and their dependents, in the communities that host its businesses. Illovo Sugar Malawi identified and partnered with a local, entrepreneurial women co-operative located in Nchalo and Dwangwa, to produce cloth face masks. The company has allocated K45 million to pay towards material, elastic and the women’s labour. To date, Illovo has paid over K16.4 million of this allocation to the women’s group, who have successfully delivered 72,000 masks and are already working on the next tranche of face masks.

Illovo Sugar Africa has a dedicated mandate to secure the inclusion of women in the local value chains it has created around its in-country operations. For this initiative in Malawi, the country team identified a women’s group, led by Gloria Mang’anda and based in Nchalo trading centre, as one of the beneficiaries of the initiative. The group, known as DACCLA, which stands for David, Chikondi, Clara and Alinafe, comprises 40 women aged between 18-60 years, all specialising in tailoring and design.

Speaking at the cheque presentation ceremony, Ms Mang’anda expressed her gratitude to Illovo Malawi for supporting their business and rural community. She said, “Funds raised have not only helped our women to raise capital for their businesses, they have also helped them to buy new sewing machines, revamp their other businesses, improve their homes and buy land. What’s more, in the process, this has also enabled other women to become motivated to aspire to become tailors too.’’

Speaking on behalf of Illovo Sugar Malawi, the Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Mrs Maureen Kachingwe commented, “This cheque symbolises more than a payment for masks, it represents Illovo’s commitment to create Thriving African communities wherever we operate. We are proud to see how this initiative has created new economic opportunities for the women in the group, and how it has inspired and shaped other women’s dreams as well. This is a true reflection of what we aim to achieve in building, supporting and growing our rural communities for the benefit of all.”