Malawi 'needs science and technology foundation'

By Gregory Gondwe, Lilongwe, Malawi 

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has observed that Malawi has no foundation for science and technology, including ICT as it does not offer it to beginners in schools.

This emerged after Malawi’s week-long second Science and Technology Fair held in Blantyre,  where MCCCI Manager for Public and Private Dialogue Hope Chavula observed that subjects that students are taught at a tender age in schools are devoid of science and technology.

"There is a dire need to invest in science and technology. That is why the objective of this fair is to promote use of science and technology,” said Chavula.

He said true to the indicators that the country has no foundation; Malawi's ranking against countries in the world in terms of technological advancements is poor.

Statistics compiled by MCCCI shows that Malawi is low on the Innovation and Technology Readiness Parameters.

He said this is a cause for concern as this the catalyst for advancement in technology in all sectors.

The statistics, which cover the years from 2008 to 2012, show that in 2008, Malawi ranked 121 out of 134 countries under the Capacity for Innovation, while in 2011, it ranked 81 out of 142 countries. Things have worsened in 2012 when it was ranked 100 out of 144 countries.

On the quality of scientific research institutions, Malawi ranked 65 in 2008 out of 134, and 89 in 2012 out of 144. Malawi ranked 101 in 2008 out of 134 and in 2012, 100 out of 144 on the availability of scientists and engineers.

Malawi has releasing graduates who have studied and majored in engineering and science from the various platforms of education across the country but this is not showing on the ground.

Despite these challenges at the fair, the Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) emerged as the best exhibitor.

MTL did well in the categories of Best Innovative Products, Best Technology, Best Presentations and Best Capable Network Infrastructure that can transform the Malawi Industry.

MTL head of marketing Wanangwa Thindwa said MTL is extremely proud of this achievement as it proves that the company is dedicated to providing speedy, reliable, and high quality integrated telecommunications services to the Malawian population.

Thindwa said MTL was determined to advance the country’s industrial development.

This, he said, would be possible with linking the country to the world in terms of e-commerce, e-learning, e-tourism, e-medicine and even e-government through their services on offer at the moment.

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