President Peter Mutharika has challenged African universities to upgrade their research infrastructure if the continent is to produce highly trained professionals in science, technology and innovations.
Mutharika, who is also a champion for higher education in Africa, made the remarks on Wednesday at the official opening of the ministerial meeting on improving science, technology and innovation capacity organised by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (Ruforum) currently being held in Lilongwe.
The President said it was up to governments to provide an enabling environment for science, technology and innovation by linking training to entrepreneurship.
He said it was only through improved governance management that Africa can train the next generation of scientists who will further champion postgraduate trainings in science and technology.
“I am planning to put higher education on the agenda at the next African Union summit in January, 2016,” Mutharika said.
Board chairperson of Ruforum and vice-chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Professor Mabel Imbuga, said Ruforum has 55 member universities and with Mutharika as champion for higher education and an academician he was better placed to rally fellow heads of States to prioritise science and technology.
Earlier, Uganda’s Minister of State for Higher Education Sandy Tickodri-Togboa earlier appealed for support in retaining African scientists and engineers who opt for greener pastures. n