Malawi army commended for empowering female soldier: Patricia Fungula attending UK military academy

The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has been commended for empowering female soldiers through various military trainings.

This comes after a female soldier, Officer Cadet; Patricia Fungula was nominated by the Malawi Army Commander, General Henry Odillo to attend the Prestigious Royal Military Training at Sandhurst academy in the United Kingdom (UK).

In a Press statement made available to Malawi News Agency (Mana), the UK’s Defence Advisor to Malawi, Colonel David Strawbridge commended the Malawi Defence Force for including female soldier in some of important military training.

MDF's Patricia marches in the footsteps of UK's royal princes
MDF’s Patricia marches in the footsteps of UK’s royal princes

“Patricia was confident of representing her country well on what is referred to as a demanding, but highly regarded course,” he said.

Strawbridge said he was particularly pleased to see a female nomination which  clearly demonstrated  the leading role the Malawi Defence Force was taking on the continent in as far as promotion of women is concerned.

On his part, the British High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin explained that the Malawi Defence Force has had a good international reputation, particularly in contributing to regional peace-keeping efforts.

“The opportunity for Fungula to work alongside UK military officers should benefit even further the already strong UK/Malawi defence relationship.

“Therefore, we should promote Fungula as a role model to other women – and men – demonstrating that even in one of the most demanding  professions, there is no reason why women cannot succeed,” reads a section of the statement.

General Henry Odillo said the admission of Officer Cadet Fungula to the prestigious Academy of Sandhurst will go a long way in cementing further defence relations with the UK.

“The professionalism of the MDF today has to a large measure, been attributed to the excellent training that most officers attain at Sandhurst since early 60’s.

“This do not only prepares them for junior leadership, but also prepares them to take up higher command. The legacy of British training has left a big footprint in our military and is recognized far and wide up to today,” said Odillo.

Having been promoted to Officer Cadet, Patricia underwent preparatory training with the Malawi Defence Force and in mid April, travelled to the UK’s Defence Academy in Wiltshire for an introductory course.

Patricia went to Sandhurst on 5th May 2014 as Officer Cadet Fungula, training alongside British and other international students.

The 12 month long course will culminate with the awarding of an officers’ commission at the Sovereign’s Parade in April next year.


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