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Saturday, July 13, 2024

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    President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has directed that Education and Finance ministries sit down with the National Council for Higher Education to review the university students’ loans towards an increased allocation of allowances as way of cushioning them against the rising cost of living.

    The President made the directive at the launch of the University Innovation Pod (UniPod) at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS). UniPod is a platform for all innovators in Malawi aimed at turning their ideas into viable commercial products.

    Justifying the envisaged increase, the Malawi leader argued that the student allowances need to be revised upwards to carter for the current cost of living which has been affected by the 44% devaluation.

    President Chakwera conveyed gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing technical and financial support for the implementation of the project which he said is a testimony that having modern education and state of the art supporting facilities in the country to exploit Malawians’ potential is possible. Chakwera emphasized the need for facilities such as the UniPod which is open to all Malawians to harness their potential through formation of ideas, design, fabrication and collaborations.

    “Malawians have capability to build useful and modern innovations, what they lack are the facilities and resources to harness their potential,” said Chakwera.

    President Chakwera also disclosed that the government will sponsor a K50 million hackathon for innovators at the UniPod focusing on renewable energy and has since asked development partners for support.

    Speaking in her capacity as Minister of Education, Hon Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima highly rated UniPod as a testament to government’s commitment to exploiting the power of research, creativity, science, technology, innovation and collaboration for the common good. Wirima said the innovation space, which is a response to the ever-evolving world, marks a historical moment in the country’s journey towards an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation, the true aspirations of Malawians towards 2063.

    “As the world evolves at an unprecedented pace, we are presented with challenges and opportunities which demand innovative solutions, the UniPod is our response to this ever-changing landscape as it provides a podium where thinkers, dreamers, creators, inventors and innovators will converge to conceive, develop and implement revolutionary ideas to products, processes and services that will propel our nation forward through productive and real sector economic growth,” said Wirima.

    Speaking on behalf of the UNDP, the Assistant Secretary-General and Africa Regional Director for organization, Ahunna Eziakonwa, disclosed that Malawi is one of the ten countries selected for the project. Eziakonwa revealed that her institution was inspired by Malawi’s drive for technology and innovation during a meeting between President Chakwera and UNDP in New York City.


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