President Peter Mutharika has told African countries to invest in universities if they are to develop economically.
Mutharika made the remarks in Ethiopia after receiving an honorary degree from Addis Ababa University.
In his remarks during his conferment of the degree, President Mutharika pointed out the importance universities to any country’s development agenda.
He encouraged his fellow African leaders to put universities at the centre of the African project.
The Malawi leader said Africans need to make leading minds that will make a new Africa.
“African leaders need to put considerable focus on university education to facilitate a paradigm shift towards an economically independent continent. The destiny of African countries lies in how we invest in our universities,” he said.
Mutharika also urged the university’s graduates to make a difference since Ethiopia is waiting for their contributions.
“Africa needs progressive minds. Our collective project is to attain more economic autonomy and end poverty of our people in the decades to come. Every African must be made to realise that African problems can best be solved by Africans,” Mutharika stressed.
The Malawi leader also utilized his renown in the academic circles to engage the graduating students on several key aspects of how one can translate academic excellence into tangible development both at micro and macro levels.
“The rest of the world can support us, and they do graciously support us as a common family of humankind. But it is our duty to save our African situation. The African university must be the first to lead us in this thinking. The first university in the world came from Africa and the African university can lead Africa,” he said.
The President spent some good years in Ethiopia in the 1970s when he taught at the institution at a time it was known as University of Haille Sellasie.
Early this year President Mutharika was appointed Champion of Higher Education for the Regional Universities Forum (RUFORUM), a role that has made him a figure of repute within the continent’s academic sphere.