25 Jan, 2020

Minister of Education, Dr Susuwele-Banda poses with the Norwegian delegation and LUANAR staff and students for a group photograph after the handover ceremony
The Norwegian Government, on Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 handed over a 3.4 billion Kwacha-teaching complex at LUANAR-Bunda College.

The facility was handed over by The Director General for Economic Relations and Development in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Katja Nordgaard, and was unveiled by The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Dr William Susuwele-Banda.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Nordgaard said LUANAR is doing a great job in Malawi such as creating a prosperous future, working to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty and reaching to every single sustainable development goal. She said the Norwegian Government is impressed by what LUANAR is doing hence the support to the university.

“LUANAR has contributed tremendously to the impart knowledge about agriculture and agricultural development in Malawi. The job you are doing here as lecturers and students all contributes to the sustainable development goals. This teaching complex will be another asset adding to the yield, capital and capacity trained over many years.” She said.

Nordgaard therefore urged the university to continue collaborating with the Nowergian Government in various projects in order to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030.

And in his remarks, Guest of Honor at the event, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, William Susuwele Banda, said the facility will resolve space challenges at the campus.

He said: “We had huge space challenges here such that for a long time, some lectures were taking place in makeshift tents and this did not offer any motivation to the lecturers not mentioning the students.”

The building, which has been named Norway Teaching Complex, comprises three classrooms each with a capacity of 70 students, four lecture theatres each with a capacity of 105 students, a big laboratory with a capacity of 138 and two small ones with a capacity of 68 students each.

It also has a computer room, staff/faculty offices, post graduate rooms and amenities such as kitchen for staff.

Speaking on behalf of LUANAR council, Prof. James Seyani, council member Noel Mkulichi cherished the support that the Norwegian Government gives to LUANAR in helping the university to achieve its vision and mission and strategic plan.

“In order to accomplish our mission of becoming a world class university, we need an enabling environment including appropriate and tailor-made infrastructure. However, LUANAR cannot single-handedly manage to fund projects of this nature and magnitude –3.4 billion Kwacha. Hence, we rely on our development and cooperating partners of good-will such as the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway.

“As council, we highly appreciate the support that the Government of Norway has rendered and continues to render to LUANAR since 1998. As council, we therefore support naming of this complex – Norway Teaching Complex as a gesture of our appreciation for your unwavering and continued support.” He said.

The Council pledged to maintain the structure in excellent state and warned that it will deal with any person who will deliberately vandalize any college infrastructure or property.

In his remarks, Susuwele Banda echoed the board chairperson’s remarks, saying the ministry has taken a new approach whereby anyone caught vandalizing college property will be withdrawn and penalties will be imposed where necessary.

“The point is, when there is a misunderstanding, it is between management and students so it should not affect public infrastructure,” he said, adding the warning extends to all public universities.

LUANAR Vice-Chancellor Professor George Kanyama Phiri said the opening of the new teaching complex at Bunda Campus is a huge motivation for teaching staff and students as it will provide a good teaching and learning environment.

On his part, Norwegian Ambassador, Steinar Egil Hagen, said his government will continue supporting any good projects the college may present to foster a strong research institution in the agricultural sector.

The Norwegian Government has been supporting LUANAR in several Infrastructure development programmes such as construction of two female hostels (60-bed NORAD hostel and 212-bed Kristine Bonnievie Hostel), improving water supply and sewer systems.