President Peter Mutharika has challenged universities to scale up efforts in being innovative as one way of dealing with hurdles rocking the country.
President Peter Mutharika inspects pavillions at MUST in Thyolo-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana (7) President Peter Mutharika inspects pavillions at MUST in Thyolo-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana (1) President Peter Mutharika inspects pavillions at MUST in Thyolo-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana (6) President Peter Mutharika inspects pavillions at MUST in Thyolo-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana (4)
He made the remarks Monday at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) where he appreciated innovations done by students in attempt to avoid the spread of corona virus (Covid-19).
Mutharika said he was impressed with what students at MUST have done which was an indication of being a progressive nation.
"MUST students are doing a commendable job and that's what l have been advocating for students from all Universities to be innovative in addressing some of the challenges facing the country," the President said, adding that it has only shown that Malawi was capable of exporting items if people work together.
He pointed out that, "I want to see competent organizations protecting the innovation of Malawians. Let us put our mark upon the world. Together, we can create wealth and make Malawi a rich country. As I have said on numerous occasions, Malawi is not a poor country but it is the people who are poor."
Mutharika promised to help the Institution in making more items as it does not have heavy duty machines.
"I am very committed and l will support the school in finding more machines so that they can produce more items," he assured, citing that, "To commercialize the items was not a big deal, but first, l want MUST to produce more items from there we will work closely with government and the private sector in sourcing more markets."
The President added that it was high time people bring solutions to the problems on the table instead of pointing fingers at each other.
"We see a problem, instead of stepping out to look for a solution, we want to find someone to blame. Some people are busy politicizing the issue of Covid-19 to the extent of putting Malawians at risk the pandemic. This is not good," he lamented.
MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata said through its Centre for Innovation and Research, the innovators are developing a number of items that would assist in preventing Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
She disclosed that MUST has a deficit of K500 million to complete some projects that would help the country in the fight against Covid-19.
"The innovations are not high-tech because our focus is on tools that can be made using locally available resources for sustainability and easy access. We have embarked on a number of projects just to make sure that we help the country in different ways during this pandemic which a lot of money," Malata added.
One of the innovators from MUST, Charles Makamo, who developed an automated water and soap dispenser, said the tool was helping in reducing touching surfaces like taps or soap bottles.
He said that, "The dispenser uses a proximity sensor and basic energy sources like batteries or solar to operate, making it accessible even for rural areas."
So far, some of the items that have been developed at MUST in the fight against Covid-19 are potable ventilators, durable face masks, monitor machines using rechargeable machines, disinfection system, body spray machines, mobilizer machines using liquid medicines.
The Centre for Innovation and Research is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to enhance locally developed solutions through research and technology.
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