Government has challenged the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) to be relevant and responsive to the country’s needs by facilitating and promoting innovation, diffusion of knowledge and skills for economic transformation.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Emmanuel Fabiano said this during the University’s first ever open day held the college’s campus in Thyolo on Saturday.
The open day, held under the theme “Establishing a gateway for innovation and entrepreneurship in science and technology”, also marked the first opening anniversary of the university, which was officially opened in October last year.
Education Minister said the University should help transforming the lives of local people, especially those within its vicinity through technological transfers.
Fabiano further said for Malawi to sustain its economic development and remain globally competitive, it needs to nurture nad encourage new industries to adopt new but locally developed technologies.
“Most of the tomatoes, vegetables, cassava and legumes such as Nandolo that one finds in Limbe and Blantyre markets are grown by farmers around this area. Most farmers around this area are also dairy farmers. They are the ones supplying milk to the Dairy Boards. By engaging in farming and small businesses the people in the villages surrounding this university are trying to develop themselves.
“The question that should preoccupy faculty of this University today is the value you can add to the products that our farmers and our local entrepreneurs are producing so that they can maximize their benefits and indeed even compete favourably on the international market and in the process, improve their earning and consequently their livelihoods,” said Fabiano.
He also observed that the development and growth of local farmers is an important ingredient to the advancement of society and reduction of poverty.
“If MUST succeeds in demonstrating its relevance to its local communicate within the shortest period ots its operation, the nation at large shall begin to anticipate the potential the University has towards transforming the lives of all Malawians when it is fully operational,” he observed.
He therefore urged the University to provide a broad range of technology transfer activities such as scientific publications, consulting services, start-up or spin-out companies that would benefit the local industry.
In his key keynote address, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Zhang Qingyang also challenged students to innovative for the country to achieve meaningful socioeconomic development.
He also urged the University to become the centre of excellence, observing that science and technology play a major role in developing the small enterprises.
Qingyang claimed that science and technological transfers spurred economic activities and helped solve food shortages in his country.
The open day pulled together captains of the industry, parents of prospective students and secondary students from over 50 schools across the country and government officials.
The open day aimed at opening up the University to the public by way of showcasing its activities and academic programmes to inspire and motivate secondary school students to go for science and technology related University programmes.
Activities included, displays, presentations on MUST and its programmes, requirements for selections, tips on surviving in University and application of science and technology in the industry.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :