Acting Vice Chancellor for the Lilongwe University and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Professor Emmanuel Kaunda attended the closure of NRC Campus' Better Education for Africa's Rise (BEAR) project and launch of a Diploma program in Agro food processing, on Tuesday, 11th April 2017
Coordinated by UNESCO and Ministry of Labour under Tevet, the project had components of skills development for youth employment, it therefore identified agro processing as one of the skills gap in Malawi and in collaboration with NRC staff developed a curriculum with assistance/ Funding from Korean government. Despite its closure, this four-year project has left its mark in that a Diploma program developed under the project was also launched on the day. The program has already rolled out at NRC campus with two cohorts. The regional director for UNESCO handed over symbolic equipment in form of books, computers to necessitate the role out of the program.
In his remarks Professor Kaunda said the programme is a unique program as it has been designed to develop the learners in the practice of value addition to food crops through competence based education and training and to support the achievement of the National Export Strategy. He further said that his delight is in that the process of constructing this curriculum has built the capacity of this nation and in particular the University. Professor Kaunda went on to say that LUANAR is delighted to spearhead a new beginning in tertiary Agro Food processing training as an Institution of higher learning to remodel curricula and approach to training with the motto of “knowledge innovation excellence”. When I see this program we are launching today, it fits that vision perfectly as we move towards becoming a world class University, LUANAR recognizes the fact that Agro-processing provides unprecedented opportunities for improvement in the processing of food products mostly which are wasted, which would translate to effectively serving our nation and improving livelihoods.” he said.
The acting Vice Principal for NRC Campus, Mr Grey Matita’ thanked the Korean Government and UNESCO on behalf of the Institution for both technical and financial support. He said that the diploma programme was conceived at the right time when Malawi as a Nation is striving to reduce postharvest losses (35-40%) and seriously embark on value addition to primary, new agricultural produce in which our own students will be equipped with agro processing and entrepreneurial skills hence will contribute to the economy of the country. He also assured the Korea Government and UNESCO Region Director that they made the right choice by choosing NRC campus considering the available structures and Human Resources it possesses.
The event was held at Cross Roads Hotel and was graced by Mr. Luckie Sikwese, Secretary for Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development.