President Chakwera hails the establishment of UniPod at MUBAS

News   Peter Bwanali   March 11, 2024
PIC: State President, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera cuts ribbon to launch UniPod.
State President, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, has described the newly established University Innovation Pod (UniPod) at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) as an icon of ‘’beauty, functionality, and purpose,’’ that will help Malawian innovators turn their vision into reality.

Chakwera made the remarks on 6th March 2024 when he officially launched the UniPod at MUBAS. He praised the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing support towards the establishment of the UniPod. He also hailed UNDP for its collaborative approach towards the economic development of the country.  

Chakwera said the establishment of the high-tech innovation centre at MUBAS has set the standard for the future of tertiary education in the country as Malawi evolves into the electronic sphere.

"The establishment of the UniPod has exceeded my expectations. This moment signifies that the time for quality education is here and the time for building substandard structures is gone. Let me commend MUBAS Management and all the people who were involved in putting up such a beautiful structure. I am really impressed," said Chakwera.

Furthermore, the Malawi leader challenged the academia to create space for all innovative and skilled minds to enable them to explore their full potential to create economic independence for the citizenry. He said the UniPod innovation centre will give impetus to Malawian innovators, creators and entrepreneurs, and give them an extra drive to come up with different innovations that can transform their lives and offer solutions to the problems communities face.

"Citizens of this country should be given a chance to explore their ideas and gain economic independence. Economically liberated people feel free to criticize even the government when it comes up with bad policies because they are not afraid," Chakwera added.

Chakwera then urged the youth to utilize the spaces being created for ideation such as the UniPod so that they gain economic liberation and remain focused and avoid being distracted by negativity that is propagated by some sections of the Malawi society. He also appealed to business captains and other partners to work with the government to accelerate the development agenda of the country.

In her remarks, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, the UNDP Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director for Africa, underlined that the UNDP acknowledges Africa's ability to change its destiny and overcome its challenges. She also mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this capability, as many African societies, especially the youth, came up with home-grown interventions to fight the scourge when the global supply system was closed.

Eziakonwa urged universities to open up and provide spaces and necessary equipment to the youth to enable them to grow their ideas.  She emphasized that the Malawian youth have so much potential and eagerness to assist their communities and society at large. She said the levels of confidence, capability and collaborative spirit exuded by the many Malawian young men and women she interacted with during the tour of the UniPod, is a clear testimony that the country is on the right economic development trajectory.

"An Africa without confidence is going nowhere, so the levels of confidence, capability and collaborative spirit shown by the young minds I met during the tour of the UniPod is a clear testimony of true leadership among our youth," said Ms. Eziakonwa.

She assured Malawians that the establishment of the UniPod signals the beginning of prosperity for the country and urged the country’s leadership to create an environment where every citizen should have a chance at economic upliftment regardless of their background.

"Many of our youth are ready to provide ideas and solutions that can assist this country and they do this not to enrich themselves but to transform their communities so let us give them support," Eziakonwa added.

MUBAS Vice Chancellor, Associate Professor Nancy Chitera expressed gratitude to the Malawi government and UNDP for providing support towards the successful establishment of the UniPod at the university. 

Chitera said the cutting-edge technology and equipment at the UniPod are a huge encouragement to the academia as it strives to assist in accelerating the social-economic development of the country. She added that the UniPod is a significant milestone in the country’s entrepreneurial and innovation journey.

"The UniPod will open opportunities for our innovators and entrepreneurs. It will cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurial and innovative leaders of this country," Chitera emphasized.

The UniPod has top-notch workshops with state-of-the-art equipment for mechanical fabrication, wood and electronic workshops, a high-end computer laboratory and a high-tech audio-visual studio among others. UNDP pumped in over 2 million US dollars while MUBAS spent over 500 million kwacha towards the project. Students, lecturers and members of the general public will have access to the UniPod to experiment with their ideas and innovations.


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