I have the honour and privilege to provide the profile of the Head of State, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who is being installed as the Chancellor of the Malawi University of Science and Technology today.
Over and above being the Head of State, and statutorily Chancellor of the University, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is a member of the academy bona fide. He is a well published and internationally renowned scholar with an impressive record of serving in African, British and American universities.
Professor Peter Mutharika is a son of this land who has illustratively established himself as a political leader, a scholar in the international professoriate, and a reputed lawyer. He is an African Statesman with a long chain of awards and championships endorsing his contribution to the world of mankind.
Today, I present to you an intellectual and political leader who is also one of the two founding fathers of the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
- Professor Peter Mutharika was born to Mr. Ryson and Mrs Ellen Thom Mutharika at Kamoto Village, TA Chimaliro half a kilometer from this University.
- As he grew up in the village, his parents instilled in him the principles of valuing discipline, integrity and hard work. Since then, he has always been a person of high principles and standards.
- After his secondary education at Dedza Secondary School, Professor Mutharika left Malawi for further education in Tanzania. But he finally left Africa for exile as the Malawian Government of the time hunted down and persecuted critical intellectuals.
- Professor Peter Mutharika studied law at the University of London, and successfully completed the bachelor’s degree in 1965. In 1966, he graduated with an LL.M degree from Yale University. In 1969 he obtained a JSD (PhD) degree from Yale University. He earned his doctorate when he was only 29 years old, which was an outstanding achievement for an African of that age in the 1960s.
- As a distinguished scholar, he has taught at institutions in the top echelon of the academy, including the Rutgers University (USA), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Program for Foreign Service Officers from Africa and Asia and the Washington University (USA). He has also taught at the University of Da es Salaam; Haile Selassie University (now Addis Ababa University). Professor Mutharika has also lectured at the Council of Foreign Relations of the United States of America; and the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the United Kingdom.
- In his career, he has further served as (i) an Academic Visitor at the London School of Economics (UK), (ii) advisor to the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law initiative for Africa and (iii) the Chairperson of the Institute for Democracy and Policy Studies, and (iv) Member of the Conciliation and Arbitration Tribunals of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes of the World Bank.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, it came as no surprise when Professor Peter Mutharika was recognized and awarded the 2008 International Jurist Award. He is the first African to receive this most prestigious award.
- His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika is a Charles Nagel Professor of International and Comparative Law Emeritus at Washington University. Professor Peter Mutharika remains an illustrative expert in International Economic Law, International Law and Comparative Constitutional Law to the present moment.
- Apart from the long list of articles, Professor Peter Mutharika has also published books in his name. Among the popular ones are: The Alien under American Law: Texts, Materials and Cases and The International Regulation of Statelessness.
- While serving the global humanity, Professor Peter Mutharika also rendered his patriotic spirit and services in historic developments here at home. He fought the Malawi Congress Party dictatorship together with friends like Atati Mpakati, Masauko Chipembere, Orton Chirwa, Kanyama Chiume and Jomo Chikwakwa. In 1995, he was a key resource person at the making of the Republican Constitution that we use today. He is part of the history of Malawi’s democracy.
- His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika served in a number of cabinet portfolios while Malawi was led by his brother, Professor Bingu wa Mutharika. He was Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs when he initiated the process of the National Identity Cards for Malawi. At one time, he was Minister of Education and drove the idea of the five public universities, as well as the creation of the National Council for Higher Education. This is the man who centrally took part in the birth of our university – the Malawi University of Science and Technology. This University is the idea of the Mutharika Brothers! He was also instrumental in creating the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- But His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika is too great a man to be owned by us alone. His international awards symbolize the presence of greatness amid us.
- This year, His Excellency, Professor Peter Mutharika was awarded the African Leadership award and Medal of Honor by the African Leadership group of London for exceptional leadership and impacting lives positively.
- Upon receipt of the award, he was effectively inducted into the Hall of Fame, which represents the highest seal of approval, confidence and commendation.
- In this same year, He also received a Certificate of Honour of Citation from the Caucus of the State of Georgia, House of Representatives, USA.
- In July 2016, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, for his Excellency’s selfless leadership on the continent and in our country.
- As cited above, Professor Peter Mutharika was awarded the Charles Nagel Professorship of International and Comparative Law in 2009. He is the first African person to be granted this honour.
- In 2008, His Excellency Professor Mutharika received an International Jurist Award. The International Council of Jurists based in the United Kingdom recognized His Excellency’s unique place in contributing to legal education and development in the world. Again, he is the first African to receive this award.
- In the history of our times, His Excellency Professor Peter Mutharika is one of the very few statesmen who are depended upon to lead and champion a number of global initiatives. As we speak, he is:
- Champion for African Development Bank Youth Programme;
- Champion for Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
- Champion for Higher Education in Africa
- Champion of HeForShe Global Impact
- Champion for UNFPA Youth Programme
- Co-convenor of the Global Commission on Education Financing along with the Prime Minister of Norway, and Presidents of Chile and Indonesia, and the Director General of UNESCO.
- And finally, Champion for Global Education Partnership.
- It is this Great Leader, Statesman, Scholar, and Co-Founder of our University that I now invite to be the Chancellor of MUST.
Your Excellency, “It is therefore my great pleasure and honour to call upon Your Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, the President of the Republic of Malawi, to take office as Chancellor of the University.”