European Union (EU) has expressed the hope that Malawi stands a chance of turning into debating society among the youth.
Team Leader for Economics, Trade and Governance in the EU delegation, Jose Maria Medina Navarro made the remarks Friday during the final of three months University debate at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe where Malawi Polytechnic faced Catholic Universityon topic"Does agriculture offer the largest potential for Malawi's economic growth.
He said the University debates are meant to provide a platform to enable student's debate on polices affecting them and society at large.
"Malawi is a young nation where majority of itspopulation are youth and they hold the future of the country. We need to involve them to sharpen the future of the country by allowing them to expressthemselves through debates," he said.
He believes that policy makers need to consultant the youth when developing policy meant to develop the country so that they should be more accommodative.
Navarro said the debates have been organized in partnership with Economic Association of Malawi (ECAMA)to continually interact and share knowledge on how they could contribute to the development of the country.
He said it was very impressive to not that University student's debate on hot topics which are a concern to most Malawians and some practical solutionswere being outlined.
"We need not to be brain washed with negative stories about Malawi like humanity crisis, disasters and effects of climate change but we need to bring up those positive developments the country is registering," the Team Leader stated.
ECAMA President, Chikumbutso Kalilombe said the debates have provided an insight on how practical solutions to some of the problems the country was facing in various sectors,
He said the involvement of the youth in the debates has helped to bring up innovative solutions which could help the country to grow its economy.
"I would like to assure the EU that their support to the initiative will help promote sustainabledevelopment in the country. Malawi should strive to promote transformative and inclusive implementation of policies for the befit of all," Kalilombe viewed.
Controllerof Agriculture Services in the Ministry and Agriculture and Water Development, Alexander Bulirani commended the students for articulatingissues with deep sense of knowledge.
He said the debates offer a great potential for the country to move forward in redesigning some of the development strategies.
"If we want to move our economy through agriculture, there is need to look into the aspect of manufacturing by encourage value addition to products and then the sector will contribute more the growth of the economy," Bulirani explained.
During the finals, three judges were involved namely; Manager Economic Policy and Research at Reserve Bank of Malawi. Dr OnelieNkuna, Corporate Executive, Dr Lesley Mkandawire and DevelopmentExpert, Dr TamaniNkhonowere entrusted to name the winner.
Navarro announced that Catholic University emerged winner of the 2019 University debatesseries and went away with K750, 000.00 while Polytechnic got K500, 000.00
Eight Universities participated in the debate and the other six were Chancellor College Lilongwe University of Agricultureand Natural Resources, Blantyre International University, Malawi Assemblies of God University, Mzuzu University and University of Livingstonia.