African countries need to invest in higher education for human capacity development— Chakwera

Chakwera receiving copy of the book 

* Investing in higher education to build human capacity for development is non-negotiable

* As such, our need to campaign and call for investment in higher education is important

By Patricia Kapulula, MANA

President Lazarus Chakwera has appealed to African countries to embark on a campaign that would invest in higher education that transforms and improves relevance in research in order to improve human capacity development.


He was speaking Monday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during the launch of the Africa Tertiary Agricultural Education book and the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Malawi Government and Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

He said higher education supports the advancement, modernisation and expansion and is credible to the advancement of instruments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the African Union Agenda 2063 and the MW2063.

“Investing in higher education to build human capacity for development is non-negotiable,” the President said. “As such, our need to campaign and call for investment in higher education is important.”

He, therefore, said Africa faces similar challenges — hence the need for universities to lead the way in approaching and addressing such challenges and have a platform to tell its story if the continent wants to be given the right kind of support.

He further said Africa has a story of resilience and solidarity hence the launch of the book will go towards telling that story.

“The launch of the book will help tell that story. A book that augments success approaches to tertiary education driven by stakeholder needs, a book that tells transformation and improves relevance in teaching and research. It is a book with a story worth telling,” he said.

Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje emphasised on the need to learn on the good practises and major efforts being made to uplift African countries by developing the agriculture sector through developing higher education for agriculture.


While RUFORUM Board chairperson, Prof. Theresia Akenji-Nkuo stressed on the importance of deliberating on issues of higher education and its role in supporting Africa’s development in order to make it a competitive continent.

She called for efforts to reshape the narrative about Africa experiences by universities by providing credible propositions.

In June 2021, RUFORUM installed President Chakwera as champion of higher education in Africa, which was decided in 2007 in Maputo, Mozambique at a meeting of vice-chancellors to recognise individuals who have made significant contribution towards higher education.

RUFORUM, a consortium of 161 universities from 40 countries in Africa, was established in 2004 by 10 vice-chancellors and is coordinated by a secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.