Mutharika calls for right education for Africa: ‘Let’s champion  science and technology’

Malawian  President  Peter Mutharika has called for collective determination among African leaders to decide the right education for developing Africa and  promote lifelong learning opportunities for its people in science and technology to support the Africa-Must-Industrialize-Agenda.

Mutharika addressing the summit
Malawi hosting a two-day African Union Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government in Lilongwe with at least six member States delegating Cabinet ministers.
Diplomats interact at the summit
Prime Minister of Senegal, Mahammed Boun Abdalla Dionne speaking at the summit
President Hege Geingob of Namibia speaking at the summit
President Mutharika with Namibia President tour pavillions at the summit

Mutharika made the remarks in Lilongwe on Saturday when he opened the first extraordinary summit of the  African Union Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government in Lilongwe.

The committee, dubbed AU-C10, champions education, science and technology in Africa where most of the Heads of State and Government had opted to delegate ministers as their representatives.

The summit is meeting  under the theme of Enhancing Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa’s Development.

In his address, Mutharika  said as a Global Champion for Education, mandated to represent Africa in financing global education, his special mission was to champion education, science and technology on the continent.

“We are the leadership mandated to show our people the lighted path to the Africa We Want. This Summit must ensure that the African Union must see that path.

“We have a common path to our destiny because we share a common past. We share common challenges. And we share a common goal. Our mission is to ensure that Africa has the right education for African  progress. Our goal is to ensure that such education is inclusive, equitable, and desirable quality of education, “ he said.

He said among others, African countries must promote life-long learning opportunities for their people as well as sustainably financing education in the long term.

“This is the education we want for the Africa by 2063. We all agree that for Africa to develop, we need the right education and  skills in science and technology. The Africa we have today is the product of its education systems, or our lack of the same. We can change Africa by  changing what we do in education, “ he said.

‘Mindset revolution’

The Malawi leader also called for a mindset revolution in Africa, saying Africans  must change the  way they think about education, science and technology.

“We do not need education  for education’s sake. We also need to find ways of bridging our African indigenous knowledge  systems with science and technology. We must make science and technology part of the African child’s culture and his world,” he said

He said it was unfortunate that for a too long, Africa has taught science as if it is a Western subject.

“Science is not foreign to Africa. We think of technology as an imported practice. Technology is not to Africa. Science and technology belong here on this continent. We are the origin of science and technology in the world. Even the first university in this world  started in Africa, “ he said.

He therefore said the Summit was obviously important in setting the agenda for the rest of Africa.

“Let this Summit come up with the visionary recommendations that will be  presented to the African Union Assembly. This Summit has a critical role to shape the destiny of Africa. And it is for  us a generation of leaders to find that destiny, “ said Mutharika.

African Union Commission (AUC) Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and  technology Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor said Africa needs to put in place concrete measures that  would harness the demographic dividend in science, research, technology and innovation.

“We need to explore opportunities that would advance development in line with the Agenda 2063,” she said.

She appealed to the private sector to be well represented in this field by offering internship  programmes in science and technology in order for the continent to see positive changes.

Prime Minister of Senegal, Mahammed Boun Abdalla Dionne said there is need  for Africa to create a science and innovative society in order to promote such issues at the  continental level.

“Africa needs to invest in science and technology in areas where these exist. We need to give  resources to translate ambitions into reality,” he said.

The Senegalese Prime Minister bemoaned funding levels in the education sector  saying it poses a threat to the development of science and technology.

“Investing in education and training is vital but then constraint is funding and this is a major  challenge. If we are to progress in science and technology, there is need to invest in this  through adequate funding,” he said.

Prior to the heads of State and Government Summit, Ministers of Education met on Friday whose meeting prepared the groundwork for the President’s meeting.

Malawi’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka told journalists that  Africa is likely to be propelled forward through greater advancements in science, technology innovation and research.

He said: “Science, technology, innovation and research are areas that will propel Africa forwards. Therefore, these issues ought to be put at the forefront of this continent’s agenda.”

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4 years ago

eetu our leaders who like to dress and address to impress.
cisazo,maonekedwe a school kids and buildings of malawi, ndi uganda mmene mrs trump inabwera muja. tingati anawa akucokela pa school. mwana ocitidwa present ali mbuu, sapato wavala ya pa cikwati.
shaa nkumati maphuzilo!!!!!! pali vutotu mr plsdent. a long impressing speech is ok but if it does not do what it says is all bullshit

4 years ago

It was recently announced that 200 secondary schools are to be built in Malawi. Will these schools have electricity 24/7, well qualified teachers who will be paid on time, all the text books they need for each pupil, desks and chairs, up-to-date teaching aids, access to computers/laptops, wi-fi connectivity, well-stocked science laboratories and libraries, and sufficient stationary for the pupils use? If they do not have all these necessities, what will they hope to achieve in terms of education for the modern world?

4 years ago

Very true Africa need it…………..!! However, I strongly hate those who educated you on thieving! Africa does not require the education you and your cabinet pursued!!

4 years ago

Strong on dreams – weak on plans – like most politicians.

4 years ago

“Let’s champion science and technology” – there’s a revolutionary idea! It seems that we are to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 19th century.

4 years ago

Bwana Mutharika mfundo ndiye muli nazo. If only you were to implement just 10% of the things you say in public Malawi would have been a model country in Africa. As a head of state your ministers and government deployees are failing you. They don’t even understand what you are saying. As an example, look at the school curriculum and the quality of research work at the university. Look at the defocus on STEM (Science, technology, Engineering & Maths) at schools, colleges and universities. Kids are only introduced to computers at secondary schools if they’re lucky. Over 95% of the… Read more »

4 years ago

Look who is talking! Your school blocks are collapsing and killing school children, education is underfunded, children still learning under a tree with no resources, teachers are ill trained, ill prepared and under paid…………go figure!!

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