Malawi has the potential to transform its economic muscle through mining, but the country needs more skillful geoscientists if this is to be achieved, director of Geological Survey Department (GSD) Jalf Salima has said.
The official said this in Mangochi this week during a curriculum review workshop of University of Malawi’s (Unima) Chancellor College, the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (GES) organised by the department with funding from the Mining Governance and Growth Support Project under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
The workshop brought together key national and local stakeholders in the geology and mining sectors to critically review the college’s present GES curriculum and make recommendations to be integrated in the development of a new curriculum.
Salima said geology and mining sectors are field-based and require geoscientists to go out into the field to map, examine and extract minerals, among other things.
He, however, said most graduates struggle to discharge their duties in the field as they are more theoretical than practical.
Said Salima: “We urge the academicians to invest more in practical parts of geology and mining studies to ensure that they produce human resource that will drive the country’s economy.”
On his part, Malawi Chamber of Mines and Energy president Dean Lungu called on academicians to produce requisite geoscientists that will excite both local and international investors to develop the country’s mining industry.
“Dynamics of mining industry can be met in the country through the provision of well-trained geoscientists,” he said.
Chancellor College vice-principal Samson Sajidu commended players in the mining sector for their input, saying that for over 40 years, the college has been the sole training institution for geoscientists in geology, physical geography and human geography. n