The Africa Center of Excellence in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science at LUANAR (AquaFish ACE), in partnership with RUFORUM, earlier this month welcomed visiting professors from RUFORUM member universities in Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Kenya. The visit was part of the Aquafish Staff Exchange Program aimed at improvingthe quality of postgraduate programmes at LUANAR.
The visiting team, who stayed from 8th to 19th January 2018, comprised of Dr. Olajide Philip Sobukola, Dr. Addanna Henri-Ukoha, Dr. Brilliant Agaviezor, Dr. Nene Amabere Jamabo, Prof. Olufemi Martins Adesope, Dr. Ekunwe and Dr Peter Ayodeji, all from Nigeria; Dr. Jamal Kussaga from Tanzania; Dr Bernerd Fulanda from Kenya; and Dr. Ahmed Mirghani Abdel Rahman Bereir from Sudan. For more information about these professors click here.
While welcoming the team, the Director of the AquaFish Center, Professor Emmanuel Kaunda, shared AquaFish’s vision to remain innovative in its approach to business by improving coordination of courses that address the challenges along the fish value chain. He invited the visiting professors to interact with the lecturers in the five departments under AquaFish, adding that the exchange was a platform for future collaboration and access to wider professional networks. He further requested the professors to also impart soft skills to postgraduate students during their stay in Malawi.
During their two-week stay, the professors, among other things, delivered lectures to postgraduate students and conducted several seminars including “Proposal writing” by Dr. Olajide Philip Sobukola and “Trusting the messenger, believing the message: a change agent’s perspective in agricultural extension service delivery” by Prof. Olufemi Adesope.
Speaking at the farewell dinner organized for the team at the end of their mission, the AquaFish Deputy Director and Coordinator, Dr. Daud Kassam, expressed his gratitude to the professors who had come to lend a helping hand to the Center. He also expressed interest for a continued relationship between AquaFish, and LUANAR at large, and the visiting professors. He went further to say that what the visiting professors taught the postgraduate students would not be taught again by LUANAR staff and therefore the visiting team would be involved in examining the students.
In his remarks, the Dean Faculty of Natural Resources, Dr. Daniel Sikawa, thanked Aquafish for coordinating the exchange programme and acknowledged the professors for the commitment they showed by going to LUANAR. “This is our first time to have such a large team of visiting professors coming to teach our students. It has added a lot of value to the teaching and learning of our postgraduate students,” he said.
Dr. Sikawa also hailed the professors for the seminars they conducted saying that they were very specialized and well-focused. He also concurred with the Center’s Deputy Director, Dr. Kassam, confirming that the professors will be involved in examining the students’ theses and supervising their research projects.
On behalf of the visiting team, Prof. Olufemi Adesope of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, thanked AquaFish for organizing the staff exchange and being good hosts. He mentioned that the programme has strengthened their relationships with LUANAR. “Travelling does so much for academics and researchers as it opens new doors and strengthens relationships among other benefits. We are so grateful to you for opening this new door in Malawi,” he said. Professor Adesope, who conducted a scholarly seminar, added that it had been a wonderful experience interacting with the students at LUANAR.
The AquaFish Center of Excellence at LUANAR was launched in March 2017. It has five departments, namely: Agribusiness Management, Agriculture Extension, Agriculture and Applied Economics, Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, and Food Science and Technology.