13 Dec, 2019

One of the graduands , Lydia (centre) who graduated with a distinction poses with LUANAR Vice Chancellor and the University Registrar during the ceremony.
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) held a fourth congregation on 12th December 2019 at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC). The colourful event saw 1323 graduands receiving their certificates, diplomas and degrees.

This was the first time in the history of Malawi for a public University to have two sessions in one day, one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon.

In his speech, LUANAR Vice Chancellor, Professor George Kanyama Phiri thanked LUANAR Council for coming up with an innovative idea to have two graduation sessions in one day other than having them a month apart or so as has been the case previously.

Professor Kanyama Phiri further highlighted the development activities that have taken place since the last graduation earlier this year.

He stated that LUANAR is one of the beneficiaries of funding from the African Development Bank (ADB) through the Ministry of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development under the Job for Youth (J4Y) project to establish the Agribusiness Hub whose purpose is to address youth employment issues by fostering entrepreneurship and job creation.

“Apart from this, the Foundation for a Smoke Free World has provided funding amounting to 2Million USD for the construction of the Centre for Agricultural Transformation at LUANAR’s Natural Resources College,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor added that the Centre will act as an Incubation and Innovation hub for academic researchers, Industry and Postgraduate Students just to mention a few.

“The purpose of the Centre is to transform agri-food systems in order to improve the livelihoods of the Rural Poor. It is also aimed at diversifying the agricultural industry in order to reduce the overdependence on tobacco as a cash crop which is under severe threat on the world Market,” said Professor Kanyama Phiri.

Professor Kanyama Phiri revealed that despite the foregoing positive developments LUANAR has been facing challenges in terms of limited teaching and learning facilities such as classroom and library space, inadequate laboratory facilities and inadequate office space.

In addition, the Vice Chancellor urged the graduands to be role models wherever they go, more importantly to live and promote the LUANAR values of high integrity and professionalism.

One of the graduands Hannah Luwesya said she was geared to use the knowledge and skills attained during her studies to contribute to national development.

She said she will not only be searching for employment rather venture into entrepreneurship.

This was the first time for LUANAR to graduate the first cohort of students from the Open Distance Learning mode of programme delivery (ODL) which was established through the support from the World Bank under the skills development Project. In addition it also graduated first cohort of Veterinary Doctors in Malawi.