Malawi Education Minister urges UNICAF graduates to serve Africa

Minister of Education, Agnes Nyalonje, has asked UNICAF graduates to see to it that they use the skills and knowledge they get from the university to serve Africa.

Nyalonje was speaking on Tuesday at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe where she was Guest of Honour at a graduation ceremony for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduating students of UNICAF University.

Nyalonje graces UNICAF graduation

This was the third graduation ceremony for UNICAF University in Malawi, and the first held in the physical presence of graduates and their families. The university’s 2020 and 2021 graduation ceremonies had to be held online because of the measures put in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, the Minister said in today’s interconnected world, online communication and online teaching and learning are becoming more prevalent than ever before. She stressed that online teaching and learning is especially important for Africa to be able to compete with the rest of the world by working with the fruits of the 4th Industrial Revolution and its associated technologies.

Procession into the graduation hall

“My ministry, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and our own national vision, the Malawi 2063, is increasingly working towards the development of Open, Distance and e-Learning and its associated connection with science, technology and innovation. Both are crucial components of our education system as we strive to develop our national human capital to achieve our national goal of becoming a lower middle income country by 2030.

“As a Minister of Education, especially a Minister of Education in Africa, the main value I see in online education and, more broadly, open, distance and e-learning, is its doorway to increased access to knowledge by our citizens.

“This of course requires adequate infrastructure, such as access to electricity and internet, and digital devices, but once we achieve that infrastructure, we open up a whole new world of opportunities, collaborations and partnerships to our students and their teachers,” remarked Nyalonje.

And addressing the congregation, the Chancellor of UNICAF University in Malawi, Professor Joseph Kuthemba Mwale, expressed pride in the fast development and growth of the university since its founding in 2015.

The Chancellor pointed out that the online delivery mode used by the university has the ability to accommodate people who are already in employment, or live far away from urban centres and university campuses, while the blended approach facilitates supportive face-to-face tuition and a student community experience for those that can study on campus.

“We are proud to host this new and innovative approach to university teaching in Malawi and look forward to contributing to Malawian national development along with African and global development through our students, our teachers, our programmers and our research,” concluded Professor Kuthemba Mwale.

UNICAF University Vice Chancellor at International Level, Dr Kevin Andrews commended the rapid expansion of the university’s network, noting that it has grown to a 21st Century institution, set to lead the way in addressing complex problems and challenges like higher education capacity across Africa and more particularly, doctoral research.

UNICAF Ambassador and student, Faith Mussa, spiced the occasion with his robust music. In a brief speech, Mussa explained his decision to pursue an MBA with UNICAF University.

“I am a singer, a songwriter, and a guitarist, with vast experience in writing music as a tool for positive change. I am doing concerts all over the world; I work hard for my career… I am in constant search for effective ways to promote my work.

“To achieve this, I recognised early on that I need specialist knowledge, which had to come from an internationally recognised institution. This is how I found myself studying for MBA at UNICAF University! And the benefits so far have exceeded my expectations,” retorted Mussa

154 students from 44 countries that graduated from UNICAF University this year, bring the total number of students graduated by UNICAF University in Malawi to 728 graduates from 80 different countries.

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