Malawi joins global Grand Challenges Family

Malawi joins global Grand Challenges Family

The Malawi Government yesterday launched the Grand Challenges Malawi Program in an effort to rebuild its capacity to fund research and development (R&D) to attain research and innovation excellence.

Presiding over the launch, the Minister of Education, Honourable Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, M.P, said Malawi has begun a journey to start building its capacity to solve its own challenges and find solutions through its association with the Global Grand Challenge family.

“This launch is a proposal to solicit applications from scientists in Malawi to collaborate with partners in Africa and globally to implement research that fosters innovation in solving the most critical development challenges,” said Wirima.

The Board Chairperson for the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Professor Emmanuel Kaunda, expressed his satisfaction over efforts that the government through the Ministry of Education has been taking in science education development.

“On February 23, 2022 we witnessed the launch of Science and Technology Fund before we welcomed National Research Agenda in March this year, and here we are today launching the Grand Challenge Malawi program. This is a remarkable progress which will never go unnoticed.” Kaunda rejoiced.

Chikondano Mussa, the Secretary for Education, said the importance of the Grand Challenge program does not need much emphasis as it perfectly aligns with country’s Human Capital Development, Enabler number 5 of MW 2063 agenda.

During the event, Emmanuel Mnjowe, a student from KUHeS, demonstrated Value and Evidence-based Decision Making and Practice (VEDMAP) innovation; a decision-making modelling tool that aims to assist policy and decision making to explicitly use optimal values and rationally navigate conflicting evidence.

He said: “VEDMAP can be used in procurement, education, human resource, priority setting, value and evidence ranking thereby resolving dilemmas and conflict of interest, just to mention a few.”

Malawi has joined Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia and Botswana in building a new legacy for Great Discovery, Great Research and Great Innovations that will help the country’s transition into a middle income economy.

Under the theme “Unlocking Strategic Investments Through Collaborative Research”, several institutions such as National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), Malawi Science and Technology (MUST), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), University of Malawi (UNIMA), Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS), Mzuzu University (MZUNI), Innovative Power Solutions, and DEK Engineering exhibited their science innovations.