Africa’s political and administrative leaders must put university institutions at the centre of their leadership if the continent is to fully grasp a paradigm shift towards a new economically independent bloc, says Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika.
In his acceptance speech during his conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa from Addis Ababa University, President Mutharika highlighted the importance of the university population to any country’s development agenda.
“Let me use this opportunity to encourage my fellow African leaders to put the university at the centre of the African project. We need to make leading minds that will make a new Africa,” he said.
To graduands whose commencement was on the day, President Mutharika challenged them to rewrite the continent’s destiny in the 21st Century.
“Make a difference out there! Ethiopia is looking for your direction. Africa needs progressive minds. Our collective project is to attain more economic autonomy and end poverty of our people in the decades to come. Every African must be made to realise that African problems can best be solved by Africans.”
The Malawi leader also utilized his renown in the academic circles to engage the graduating students on several key aspects of how one can translate academic excellence into tangible development both at micro and macro levels.
“The rest of the world can support us, and they do graciously support us as a common family of humankind. But it is our duty to save our African situation. The African university must be the first to lead us in this thinking. The first university in the world came from Africa and the African university can lead Africa,” he said.
Months ago President Mutharika was appointed Champion of Higher Education for the Regional Universities Forum (RUFORUM), a role that has made him a figure of repute within the continent’s academic sphere.
The University of Addis Ababa is honoring Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for his outstanding contribution to the academia in Ethiopia in particular, Africa in general and the world at large.
The President spent some good years in Ethiopia in the 1970s when he taught at the institution at a time it was known as University of Haille Sellasie.
Addis Ababa University is a state university in Addis Ababa and was originally called the University College of Addis Ababa at its establishment in 1950, it was later renamed Haile Selassie I
University in 1962 after the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I.
The institution received its current name in 1975. Some of its notable alumni include former and current Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi and Hailemariam Desalegn respectively.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :