Universities in Malawi join hands to strengthen national unity and sustainable development in Malawi
April 24, 2023
The Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture, Honorable Richard Chimwendo presided over the signing Ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between Higher Learning Institutions, that took place at Crossroads Hotel in Blantyre.
The signing ceremony marked the launch of an Inter-University Network on Peace, Unity and Development that will play a critical role in sustaining conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts in Malawi, with joint support from the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and UNDP Malawi.
In his official remarks, Hon. Chimwendo reiterated the political will and full support from Government, under the leadership of the President of Malawi, His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCathy Chakwera.
“The Government of Malawi is fully committed to the peacebuilding agenda. This is in recognition of the important role that peace and unity play in creating a conducive environment for social economic development”, said the Minister.
Speaking on behalf of the UN in Malawi, the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Shigeki Komatsubara said: “One of the primary duties of universities in a democratic society like Malawi is to promote structured and intergenerational dialogue on challenges that confront us. This partnership will therefore harness the power and skills of higher learning institutions to play an important role in fostering national unity and social change.”
The representative of the participating institutions, Mr. Master Mfune also expressed his gratitude to the collaboration and urged for more strategic partnerships in the peacebuilding efforts, which is a key driver to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Malawi is a relatively peaceful country ranking at number eight out of 44 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa on peacefulness indicator. Despite the peaceful nature, there are underlying conflict rooted in political and developmental challenges that continue to threaten the national unity of the country.
Through the Inter-University Network, the higher learning institutions will leverage on their wide-ranging skills in peacebuilding, development, political affairs and media, to formulate critical tools in peace education, to help achieve national unity and sustainable development.
The participating institutions include: University of Malawi; Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, Catholic University of Malawi; Mzuzu University; Malawi University of Science and Technology; and the Malawi School of Government.
In recognizing the importance of peace and national unity for any society, UNDP Malawi and UNRCO have been supporting the Government of Malawi in building its peace architecture including the support to the enactment of the Peace and Unity Actin 2022 which paves way for the establishment of the Malawi Peace and Unity Commission, in which Malawi became the fourth country in Africa to operationalize the framework which provides mechanisms for coordinating peace initiatives in the country.
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