Innovation crucial to entrepreneurs -UNDP – Capital Radio Malawi
21 April, 2024

Innovation crucial to entrepreneurs -UNDP

Chakwera (in black suit) being briefed about the UniPod

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is touting high technological innovation as crucial, in opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs.

UNDP assistant secretary general and Africa regional director Ahunna Eziakonwa made the remarks at the launch of Timbuktoo University Innovation Pod (Unipod) at th Malawi University of Business and Applied Science (MUBAS) on Wednesday in Blantyre.

The UniPod’s primary objective is to provide essential support to youthful innovators by providing them with cutting-edge infrastructure that caters to innovation prototyping and small-scale manufacturing among others.

It also aims to foster the creation of prototypes that hold significant potential for transforming into commercially viable products hence providing an alternative for export substitution.

According to Eziakonwa, the African continent has always demonstrated potential in both resources and ideas hence the need to harness innovation and translate it to a commercial venture for the betterment of their lives and countries.

“Malawian youth can become innovators of tomorrow, for the entire world. You can export your ideas and your innovations and earn from it but above all continue to be compassionate leaders. I think our world is desperate for leaders who care. In whatever trade you are into, do not accumulate just for yourselves but rather see prosperity as something that has to be distributed across your country and you maybe the generation that completely lifts Malawi out of poverty,” said Eziakonwa.

President Lazarus Chakwera who presided over the launch expressed contentment on the progress made in implementing technological advancements in higher education facilities.

Chakwera said the facility is a testament that having modern education and state of the art supporting facilities in the country to harness Malawians’ potential is possible.

“Malawians have the capability to build useful and modern innovations only that they lack facilities and resources to harness their potential,” Chakwera said.

Meanwhile, MUBAS vice chancellor Nancy Chitera is hoping that the high-tech innovation will benefit Malawi as well as other universities across the borders.

“This endeavour perfectly aligns with our moto to innovate, clear and generate. We are confident that this investment will greatly benefit Malawi and we trust that all universities will fully utilize this opportunity” Chitera emphasized.

Meanwhile, Felix Mwalukali who is a second-year student of Business Administration at MUBAS is hopeful that: “A lot of students have skills but they were failing to go higher with their skills just because they did not have a platform that could have exposed them to the world. So, the coming in of UniPod is a great pleasure to us and it will help students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills, their creative technologies,” explained Mwalukali.

The cutting-edge facility is a product of a partnership between MUBAS and UNDP Malawi, who provided both technical expertise and financial support to establish a University Innovation Pod (UniPod) in Malawi.

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