The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 129 African universities operating in 38 countries across Africa has created impact across the continent due to the contributions from several individuals, Institutions and Members. According to the meeting held in 2007 at Maputo, Mozambique, the RUFORUM Vice Chancellors decided that RUFORUM should recognize individuals who have made significant contribution towards Higher Education in Africa. Yesterday, 1st June 2021, RUFORUM recognized the contribution of a higher education champion from Malawi, His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the President of the Republic of Malawi. The function was preceded by the signing of the RUFORUM Charter by the Government of the Republic of Malawi.

The function was held at Lilongwe, MALAWI and a number of peoples attended that included, among others, HE Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, the Minister of Education, Honourable Agnes Makonda NyaLonje, Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Lobin Lowe, MP, Secretary for Education Mrs. Chikondano Mussa, the Secretary for Agriculture, Mrs. Erica Maganga, and other Government Officials, Ambassadors, University Vice-Chancellors from Malawi and other parts of Africa, University Council Chairpersons, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Registrars and Directors, Prof Adipala Ekwamu, Executive Secretary of RUFORUM and the RUFORUM Board Chair Prof. George Yobe Kanyama- Phiri. His Excellency Dr.  Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera called for greater engagement of Africa Universities in Africa’s development processes and also urged the Universities to work closely with private, public, and other partners to develop the requisite human capital, produce and disseminate appropriate technologies, and generate the required knowledge in order to support sound policies and economic development for a prosperous population where ‘no one is left behind

HE Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has actively participated in politics including as a Member of Malawi Parliament, where he promoted understanding and working together of various political groups. He joined mainstream politics in 2014 and contested for the Presidential position on the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Ticket. HE Dr Chakwera won a parliamentary seat and became the Leader of Opposition in Parliament. On 23rd June 2020 Chakwera was elected President of the Republic of Malawi. He has spared no time to put in place programmes whose impacts are already visible on the Malawi economy, respecting the rule of law, and putting access to education at the core of the Malawi Government’s development agenda. President Chakwera is leading several initiatives to mobilize African Governments and development partners to invest in Africa’s Higher education, as the fulcrum for development in Africa.

RUFORUM recognizes His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of Malawi, for his exemplary leadership, contribution to social inclusion, and for Championing Education, Science, Technology and Innovation advancement in Africa.

In the remarks during the event at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, Malawi, Chakwera described the pIn the remarks during the event at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, Malawi, H.E. Dr. Chakwera described the position as both humbling and demanding saying it means he even has to work harder to promote and support Higher Education in the Continent.

Contacts: Name: Evaline Acan; Communications Assistant ; Email: communications@ruforum.org

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