Malawi to benefit from Grand Challenges Initiative Africa


Malawi through the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) has been initiated in the Grand Challenges Initiative Africa.

This means that the country will be having access to resources though the initiative as well as intellectual capital from other grand challenges experts.

The Grand Challenge is an initiative which provides grants to researchers and innovators. Initially, it used to be just on health issues but now has expanded to others sectors such as agriculture, ICT, environment humanitarian crisis.

Speaking to reporters, National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) Acting Director General, Gift Kadzamira, said the grand challenges initiative will help the country to come up with innovations and research that will help to solve issues of humanitarian crisis.

According to Kadzamira, Malawi has selected humanitarian crisis as its first priority area to solve Cylone Freddy challenge.

“So what will happen is that when we have these resources, we will put out a call whereby we will ask our innovators or researchers to solve issues to do with humanitarian crisis and we know that issues to do with humanitarian crisis as far as Malawi is concerned are issues that have just happened like Cyclone Freddy.

“We want innovators to ensure that we solve these problems once and for all. We will be able to provide grants and the good thing is that these grants are also in our priority areas which is available in the National research agenda and these same priority areas are the areas that are also available in the grand challenges initiative,” said Kadzamira.

Kadzamira also noted that the priority areas for research under the grand challenges initiative will align with the National Research Agenda as it is organised according to MW2063 Pillars and Enablers and its focus is on Agricultural Productivity, commercialisation, industrialization that includes creation of secondary cities and tourism hubs, mindset change, effective governance systems and institutions among others.

She added that the Grand Challenges Initiative will foster this approach to ensure that Malawi’s research, science, technology and innovation intervations are locally driven to solve socia- economic development challenges.

Kadzamira further noted that the initiative is open to Malawians and organisations whose interest is to solve challenges that will help to solve problems of Cylone Freddy since Malawi opted to deal with issues of humanitarian crisis.

By virtue of being a member of the Grand Challenges family, you are introduced and have access to international funders like The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, SIDA, German Ministry of Science (BMBF)

National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) will host the Grand Challenges at the local level.

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