It was one extremely rare high-profile visit of a government official of such standing in years, and staff were most certainly excited to have someone from the President's circle of advisers demonstrate interest to get fully acquainted with the Council's business.
Recently appointed Presidential Adviser on Youth and Sports Affairs Symon Vuwa Kaunda on Monday September 4, 2017 paid a familiarisation visit to the National Youth Council of Malawi Secretariat.
"I saw it fit, having been appointed as Presidential Adviser, to come for courtesy to the National Youth Council since you are the institution that coordinates all youth associations and organisations in the country," said Mr. Vuwa Kaunda as he introduced himself to the keenly listening staff in the Council's board room.
During the visit, Mr. Vuwa Kaunda was briefed by staff on the work that the Council is doing, the spectrum of programming and the challenges being encountered in both programming and operations.
Among other things, positive and negative, the meeting revealed that the Council has been facing a number of challenges relating to the implementation of reforms approved under the Public Sector Reforms agenda that the government is championing.
The Council's management and staff indicated that there were challenges in the operational end enabling environments that hampered the progress of the reforms agenda, including the absence of key decision-making persons both at the Secretariat and in the Board of Directors, a situation which had also affected resource-mobilisation drive for the Council.
It was indicated during the meeting, however, that staff at the Council had opted to explore partnership-building as the most plausible way of mobilising technical support under the current circumstances.
Earlier, in welcoming the Presidential Adviser, Finance and Administration Officer Thembeka Chide expressed the collective happiness among staff to be honoured with the visit.
Kaunda's visit was perhaps a needed morale booster, and his remarks hinted on a number of positives to be expected from his office.
"I am hopeful that you shall have your Board of Directors and Executive Director soon," said Vuwa, as he is popularly known, of the two critical structures that have been vacant for almost eleven months now.
The visit comes following his appointment by State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to the said adviser role in the past few weeks. The position has for the past three years been occupied by former Member of Parliament Wictor Songazaudzu Sajeni.
Mr. Vuwa Kaunda twice served as Minister for Youth and Sports during the leadership of departed President Bingu wa Mutharika. His recent appointment is expected to benefit from his experience in youth and sports as he takes on the mammoth yet hugely undermined task of influencing top-level direction in meaningful youth development.