President Professor Peter Mutharika, who is also Champion for Higher Education in Africa has pledged his support to the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) activities in advancing broader investment in higher education with a focus on science and technology.

Speaking on Thursday when he hosted a RUFORUM delegation at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, President Mutharika said he is committed to the enhancement of higher education in Africa through promotion of investment at this level of education.

“No country can develop without proper investment in higher education and that is why my government has invested substantial financial resources in this area and vocational skills development through construction of community technical colleges,” Mutharika said.

The President further said there was need to increase the number of qualified staff to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) level in institutions of higher learning in Malawi and across Africa in order to find solutions to challenges haunting the African continent.

Executive Secretary for RUFORUM, Professor Adapala Ekwamu, lauded President Mutharika for his commitment to higher education as evidenced by Malawi’s government substantial budget towards this level of education.

“Malawi is the first country in Africa to allocate one percent of her Gross Domestic Product to higher education in Africa.

“As a world champion for higher education, the president is always at the fore front in global mobilization of support for investment in higher education for the benefit of African nations,” Ekwamu said.

Board Chairperson for RUFORUM, Professor Mabel Imbiga, said investment in higher education, in particular science and technology, is crucial in enhancing a prosperous and peaceful Africa through home grown solutions to African problems.

RUFORUM is a consortium that currently has representation from 85 African Universities from at least 35 countries.

A number of high profile officials in government and academic circles graced the occasion at Kamuzu Palace.

Some of them were Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka, Vice Chancellor of University of Malawi, Professor John Saka and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Vice Chancellor, Professor George Kanyama Phiri, who is also the deputy Board Chairperson of RUFORUM also attended the function.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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