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Four Malawian students shine in 2022 UNESCO-India-Africa Hackathon fair

Chang’anamuno and Deputy Director of Higher Education, Dr. Valentino Zimpita pose with the students-pic by Moses Nyirenda (MANA)

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Four Malawian students from public universities successfully participated at this year’s UNESCO-India-Africa (UIA) Hackathon which was held at Gautam Buddha University in New Delhi, India from November 20 to 26, 2022.

The four students which were put in twelve groups during the education fair including Austin Thauzeni, Aureen Harazie, Milca Kwenda and Rejoice Tiwalhani from Mzuzu University, Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) and University of Malawi (UNIMA) whose teams were working on Energy, Health, Education and energy respectively.

Malawi sent out twelve students (twelve female and eight male) from five universities including Mzuni, UNIMA, MUST, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS).

The twenty winning teams went away with 300,000 Rupees each which four Malawian students successfully contributed to the fair.

In this year’s event, participating countries from Africa including Malawi, Mali, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ethiopia, Guinea- Bissau, Niger, Botswana, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Togo, and Eswatini.

The education fair centred on five themes including Health and Hygiene, Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, Energy, and Education.

Malawi team participated UIA Hackathon event under the stewardship of Engineer Dr. Edwin Khundi from MUST as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC).

Vice President of India Sri Jagdeep Dhankhar presided over prizes presentation to the wining teams on November 25, 2022 that Malawi Deputy Minister of Education, Monica Chang’anamuno also graced the function for moral support to the students.

Dr. Khundi told The Maravi Post on Monday, November 28, 2022 upon Malawian team arrival at Ministry of Education’s Headquarters boardroom welcoming ceremony in the capital Lilongwe that students made the nation proud.

He said, “The event took the format of a competition in which instead of countries competing, students were each allocated into a multi-national team so as to foster collaboration and not competition. Thus, the twenty students who represented Malawi were each attached to a different team.

“Each team was provided with problem statements from one of the themes for which they were supposed to develop innovative solutions. The unparalleled achievement by our boys and girls has opened new opportunities for collaboration with India and the participating countries”.

One of participating students Rejoice Tiwalhani from MUST said that with knowledge acquired from the event will help her in studies while supporting Malawi’s development agenda on sustainable energy.

Deputy Education Minister Chang’anamuno expressed satisfied with Malawian students’ performance at the event.

Chang’anamuno On November 25, 2022 met Minister of Education of India, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in India

“The knowledge and skills our students have acquired will go a long way in augmenting our aspiration to industrialize which Malawi 2063 says can be realized by embracing research and science and technology through which we can enhance productivity, innovation and competitiveness at both regional and global levels.

“A milestone of great magnitude as that achieved by our ambassadors to this year’s Hackathon cannot go unnoticed. We just have to celebrate these great sons and daughters of Malawi whose travel to India was not for site seeing but for a serious business. We must decorate them and salute them for work well done,” excited Chang’anamuno.

Lauds the deputy Minister, “From another angle, such unprecedented success is very sweet news to the nation as it gives us an assurance that our education system is of international standards with the ability to produce graduates that have rare skills and competences.

“If well natured, such rare skills and competences could be very critical in the creation of an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialized upper-middle-income country by the year 2063”.

She appealed, “Ministry of education is therefore would like to request researchers, the industry and policy makers to take keen interest in the achievement of our students which is an opportunity for us to create the Malawi we want”.

UIA Hackathon is an annual event that brings together students, educators, teachers, and accomplished researchers from India and its African partners with the aim of tackling common challenges faced by the participating countries.

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Lloyd M’bwana
Lloyd M’bwana
I'm a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource (LUANAR)'s Environmental Science graduate (Malawi) and UK's ICM Journalism and Media studies scholar. I have been The Malawi Country Manager and duty editor for the Maravi Post for the past Three Years. My duty editor’s job is to ensure that the news is covered properly, that it is delivered on time, and that it is created to the standards set out in the editorial guidelines of the Maravi Post. I also decide most of what the user will or will not see. And those users will be clicking on the website expecting to see what their trusted news. Organisation has to say on an issue. I started as a senior Reporter with the Maravi Post over a 6 years ago. When I have time, I do field reporting as well.

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