I am extremely delighted to witness this great day when we are officially opening these two magnificent institutions – The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Matapwata Day Secondary School. The establishment of this University in particular, is a remarkable milestone in the history of education in this country.
The journey that started as a dream and a vision by the former Head of State, the late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika in 2011 has now come to a reality. Those of you who attended or listened to the speech which the former State President made during the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of this university whose theme was: “TURNING MALAWI INTO AN INDUSTRIAL NATION”. He said, “This University is a new milestone in our quest as a nation to promote education as the means of enhancing our macroeconomic growth and development.
Today also marks the beginning of the realization of my dream of establishing six new universities to respond to the challenges and demands for increased equitable access to institutions of higher learning. My aim is to ensure that every citizen in our country, regardless of tribe, religion or the areas he/she comes from, should have the opportunity and the right to higher education. This University is being established at my initiative. I conceptualized this and even designed the main building that you will one day see rise above the grounds of this area….
Ladies and gentlemen, I stand here a very happy man for a number of reasons and I am aware that many Malawians are happy too for this great architectural masterpiece we see here. I would like to agree with the Chairman of Council and Minister of Education, Science and Technology that this is one of the best Universities not only in Africa but even beyond. I am happy that despite the so many challenges that were experienced during construction, this University was finally completed and opened for our deserving sons and daughters of Malawi.
The Malawi University of Science and Technology has been established to be a world class centre of science and technology, research and entrepreneurship. My Government expects the University to provide a conducive environment for quality education, training, and research, entrepreneurship to facilitate economic growth in Malawi and beyond.
The Malawi University of Science and Technology and Matapwata Day Secondary School have been constructed with funding from the Government of the People’s Republic of China following the establishment of our diplomatic relations with that country. At this juncture, allow me to sincerely thank the Chinese Government for financial support and provision of the Contractor who has done a wonderful job.
I would like to thank all my fellow Malawians who in various capacities contributed to the establishment of this University. In particular, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to members of the Public Universities Working Committee for their tireless commitment and effort to ensure that this university is operational.
I would also like to thank the University Council and the Management team for the hard work that has enabled this university to be fully operational and my hope is that you will turn this institution into a world class one.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This University is a clear testimony of the commitment of the DPP led Government in meeting the challenges of access to higher education by our youths who graduate from secondary schools such as Matapwata Day Secondary School. My Government is committed to the vision of increasing the number of public universities in Malawi as well as public secondary schools. It is for this reason that my Government has put in the budget funds to start the ground work for the establishment of University of Mombera in Mzimba.
With this in mind, all secondary schools that will be constructed in the recent times will have modern laboratory facilities to properly orient our secondary school students towards science and technology as evidenced by the magnificent science laboratory facilities at Matapwata Day Secondary School.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, The Malawi Government realises that there is a direct link between international competitiveness and invention on one hand and innovation and technology development on the other. In fact, globally, it is recognized that Science and Technology plays a critical role in transforming the lives of people in society. As I speak now, there is no country in the world that has developed or is rapidly developing without applying the principles and practices of science and technology.
Therefore, this magnificent institution places a great responsibility for the staff and students present, and future, to prove the nation that investment in science and technology education can make a difference to Malawi. The Industry has a critical role to play if this university is to make a positive mark to the country.
To captains of Industry and business gurus, I also challenge you to utilise the skills to be developed at this university for the growth of your Industries. This university will be meaningless without interface with the Industry.
Ladies and gentlemen, students and staff are not the only stakeholders at this University. The people surrounding this university, parents, government, the general public out there and many more are all stakeholders. It is pleasing to note that Chiefs and Traditional leaders surrounding these two institutions visited them and committed themselves to help in taking care of them and I thank you for that commitment.
For MUST and Matapwata Day Secondary School students, my appeal is simple; remember that education without character is meaningless. Coming to the university is one thing but remaining here and completing the programme is yet another thing. The need for hard work cannot be over-emphasised. I therefore challenge Matapwata Day Secondary School students to work extra hard in their studies so that they too would be selected to this magnificent university. One wise man once said “… You have only three choices in life: give up, give in, or give it all you have got!” The Government will continue to help and ensure that you receive quality education and training. You, as students must resolve to succeed. When you fail or fall you have not lost but when you quit you have lost it all and remember this, “Winners never quit”
By its location, my Government is aware of some of the challenges that are still there particularly with regard to staff accommodation. We are working hard to ensure that there is enough staff accommodation here. I would like to appeal to the private sector to utilise this opportunity work with the Government to invest here under the Public Private Partnership arrangements. You can build additional students’ accommodation, staff houses and a modern shopping mall, just to mention a few.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with these remarks, it is now my singular honour to declare the Malawi University of Science and Technology and Matapwata Day Secondary school officially opened.
I thank you all for your attention.
May God bless us all.