Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday called on the country's publicly-owned universities to guide their research and extension activities towards finding short, medium and long term solutions to reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The universities are the laboratory to produce solutions for the development of Mozambique. It's where there is knowledge and so, if we want to govern scientifically, we need to be close to the universities", he said at a meeting in Maputo with vice-chancellors of the universities that resulted from the splitting of the country's largest institution of higher education, the Pedagoic University (UP), into five autonomous regional universities (the Rovuma, Licungo, Pungoe, Save and Maputo Universities).
Nyusi said the student population of the UP had become so large as to justify restructuring and the creation of "autonomous and more creative universities", in which decision making was decentralised. The Monday meeting took place a year and four months after the government's decision to break up the UP into smaller units.
Nyusi said he wanted to hear from each vice-chancellor "what has changed, what could change more, what we should correct, and what we should capitalise upon".
He invited the universities to present their proposals for mitigating the Covid-19 crisis. But the universities could also not stand aside from questions of national security and the defence of the country's security, added Nyusi, referring to the terrorist attacks that have plagued the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017.