Malawi will get 20 university scholarships from the government of Swaziland which will allow students to study at the newly established SADC University of Transformation.
Swaziland’s King Mswati III made the announcement Tuesday afternoon when he made his acceptance speech as the new chairperson of the 15 member regional bloc.
He said as part of promoting regional integration and enhancing skill development in the region, Swaziland will lead efforts to establish the university that will be enrolling students from all 15 SADC Member States with 300 scholarships initially available to all countries with each getting 20 spaces.
“The Kingdom of Swaziland will provide 20 scholarships per country to all Member States as the first crop of this university that will be operational within 12 months. We need to develop the capabilities of our youths in various skills that will enhance trade and regional integration,” said Mswati.
Mswati who took over the Chairmanship from Botswana’s President Seretse Ian Khama said his tenure will focus on making SADC the preferred investment destination and making the lives of its citizens better.
Responding to the establishment of the university and offer of scholarships, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila said Malawi welcomes the development and will make sure it grabs the opportunity with both hands.
He said the plan to educate the SADC youths sits well and is in line with the development plans being implemented by the government of President Arthur Peter Mutharika in Malawi. He further promised that when the time comes, government will make sure the process of selecting the scholarship beneficiaries is fair and transparent.
During the opening ceremony, Malawi’s photojournalist Bonnex Julius Binali from Blantyre Newspapers Limited, won an award in the Photo Water Category in the SADC Media Awards.
President Khama of Botswana presented the award for which Binali got US 2,000 and a certificate signed by Khama.
Reacting to his award an excited Binali thanked God for his success and advised fellow journalists to work hard to realize their dreams.
Said Binali: “I am thankful to God, my family, employers and workmates for the support and encouragement given to me in my work. It is not easy to make it in international competitions like these but with God everything is possible.
It is even sweet considering that I also won last year in the General Photo Category. This will spur me to work even harder in my work, not necessarily to win competitions but rather to contribute to the development of the media and nation at large in Malawi I urge others journalists in the country that they should be joining competitions like these.”
On his part Kasaila congratulated Binali for making Malawi proud by raising its flag high among its peers.
“I am happy that he has done us proud considering only a few countries won. Government will surely and does recognise his success and celebrate together with him, his media house and family in this success,” said Kasaila.
The annual competition is open to journalists from all 15 SADC Member States and awards are conferred during the opening of the Heads of State and Government Summit each year.
The awards are organised, managed and run by the SADC Secretariat in close collaboration with all 15 Member States with the aim of promoting regional integration. Kasaila was delegated by Mutharika to represent him at the 36th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.