Malawi: Home Based Researches Critical for Malawi Development - Commission

14 August 2020

National Planning Commission (NPC) has said the country needs to develop home based researches for the benefit of national development.

NPC director general Thomas Munthali made the observation Wednesday during the third Ndizotheka Eminent Speakers series on the role of Science and technology in economic Transmission at Sun Bird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe,

He noted that Universities and Academic Institutions in the country have been engaged in a lot of research works for many years but they were donor driven researches.

"We need to start thinking as researcher on how we could do researches which could greatly improve the well being of the country's economy," Munthali suggested.

He pointed out that evidence based planning plays a very critical role in the development of any country hence the need to have more home grown researches within our research institutions.

"For us to really achieve development in the next 20 to 30 years, we need to use technology a lot especially the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the country. We need to harness the economic infrastructure to operationalize the sector in order to tease off various developmental strategies," Munthali explained.

He said research institutions need to be familiar with the National Research Agenda where they could draw lesson on how mobilized resources should be tied to and have relevant research findings for the country.

Munthali said Government should put aside resources for research institutions and academic sector to help the country grow by creating job opportunities and encouraging self reliance, thereby for defining developments needs.

Vice Chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Prof Address Malata said the country need to invest more in science technology for its development agenda,

She said development takes years and it needs a lot of research and planning for it to be successful.

"We have managed produce a lot of graduates from our Universities but the country still depends on imported good. Our challenge has been no production due to limited usage of technology and innovations," Malata observed.

She added that the country has an opportunity to do things different particularly Universities by producing new knowledge beyond technology and innovations in the transformation process of the country.

"Our topic of discussion has been centred on developmentt in Malawi and Africa in particular Universities should stop looking at the production of graduates but we need to have items to be used to develop our nations," Vice Chancellor viewed.

She noted that with Covid- 19 there was need for the University to come up with innovations which could help to contain the further spread of the disease in the country.

Malata said universities need to have adequate resources in order to scale up their activities for the benefit of the nation.

Board Chair of Mwapata Policy Institute, Prof. Richard Mkandawire said his organization was providing leadership in supporting the transformation, new thinking and planning process for the country.

He observed that the country would not develop by parachuting knowledge from outside and it was very critical for our own institutions to drive transformation process of developing the country.

Mkandawire agreed that science and technology remains key to future transformation of the country in terms of development of Mega farms by using modern technologies.

"We are involving MUST, Lilongwe university of Agriculture and natural Resources (LUANAR) to develop transformation objectives of the country by using the available knowledge, expertise and experiences in using science and technology initiatives," he said.

Mkandawire said we need to tap skills from Malawians in diaspora with their knowledge to develop the country and effectively contribute to the transformation agenda.

He added that the involvement of several stakeholders such as communities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) remains paramount to the transformation agenda for the country.

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