At a recent meeting at State House, Lilongwe, His Excellency Peter Arthur Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi pledged to champion the cause of agriculture and education across the continent.

The meeting with the president, who was sworn into office earlier this year and is a former Minister for Education, Science and Technology, formed part of RUFORUM’s strategy of mobilizing high-level policy support to rebuild and strengthen African universities to better serve Africa’s development agenda.  It also furthered the offer made at RUFORUM’s recent biennial meeting held in Maputo, Mozambique, by Her Excellency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, for African Chancellors to organize a special session on higher education in Africa for the 2015 African Heads of State and Government Summit.

In accepting the invite to champion higher education generally, and promote science, technology and innovation for the modernization of agriculture specifically, the president acknowledged the important work undertaken by RUFORUM and the need for it to be recognized by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa as a lead agency for strengthening regional postgraduate education.  He also called upon African governments to support postgraduate training development across Africa through the formation of regional centres of excellence and academic mobility for students and staff.

Commenting upon the meeting, Professor Adipala Ekwamu, the Executive Secretary of RUFORUM, remarked: “I am delighted to welcome His Excellency as a champion of our cause and share his sentiments.  Without a critical pool of highly trained scientists and professionals, made possible by African universities that are developing the necessary skills and capacities, Africa will not develop or achieve its African Vision 2063.”

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