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Let us build Malawi with innovation

Article   Lusungu Munthali   November 10, 2017
PIC: Vice Principal Assoc. Prof. Nancy Chitera delivering a speech during this year’s Malawi Innovators Design Competition.
“We as Polytechnic realize that it is high time we develop Scientists, Engineers and Technologies that will take their role in contributing to national development seriously through an aggressive approach to coming up with solutions to various technological problems we are facing.”

These are the words of the Vice principal Assoc. Prof Nancy Chitera when she was delivering a speech to the participants of the 2017 Malawi Innovators Design Competition, which took place at the college of medicine sports complex.

In her speech, she applauded the Dean and lecturers in the Faculty of Engineering for coming up with an initiative with support from Rice University. The initiative engages students in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This allows young innovators regardless of the programmes they are pursuing to come up with innovations.

She further said that Malawi is in need of innovators that can help in solving problems affecting the country. The issue of electricity blackouts was her obvious example as Malawi is currently going through the worst energy crisis in years that needs a touch from young minds. 

“Since government is working to transform Malawi from a predominant importing country to a predominant exporting, Engineers, Scientists and different technologies stand at the center stage to make Malawi a better nation continually advancing in various aspects.” She said.

There were a number of individuals from different colleges and universities in the country and abroad who were among the panel of judges who assessed different innovation entries. There were 35 entries in total, 24 of which were shortlisted and only 19 showed up at the competition.

The event had final year engineering students who presented there projects in which one of them, an Accident Prevention System, came first in the category of the most technically challenging project. The overall winners were a joint team of students from Polytechnic, DMI St. John the Baptist and a lecturer who designed a Temperature Monitoring System for Cold chain. 

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