ESCOM’s CEO Kamkwamba Kumwenda presenting the scholarship
* The assistance will go a long way in bridging the existing gap of female and male engineers in the country
* Since the introduction of the program in 2017, there has been a tremendous increment in number of female engineering students
* We have a lot of capable female students in the country, who can make it as great engineers
By Victor Singano Jnr, Correspondent
In its commitment to empower girl child education to help the country to have well educated and influential women in different government departments and the private sector, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) awarded scholarships to best performing female engineering students for the Malawi University of Business and Appliances (MUBAS) and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
At the presentation on Thursday at ESCOM Mpemba Training Centre, MUBAS Vice-Chancellor, Nancy Chitera thanked ESCOM for the gesture shown to the students, saying the assistance will go a long way in bridging the existing gap of female and male engineers in the country, which has been a big challenge.
Chitera added that since the introduction of the program in 2017, there has been a tremendous increment in number of female engineering students — a development which she described as a great progress to help school-going students to start working hard in their studies.
“I must admit here that, we have a lot of capable female students in the country, who can make it as great engineers, but majority of them lack support from the corporate world.
“We just thank ESCOM for coming up with this initiative because they’re helping to build a better Malawi as they say ‘educating a girl child is like educating the nation’,” she said.
She pleaded with the girls to grab the opportunity and make good use of and one of the beneficiaries, Tamandani Zinyawo — who is pursuing Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Systems at MUST — expressed grateful for the support, saying the scholarships is a motivation and an assurance that they will finalize their studies without hiccups.
Zinyawo further promised to work extra hard so that she becomes one of the best engineers in the country since ESCOM has rescued her from a big burden she was facing to find tuition fees.
ESCOM’s Social & Gender Inclusion Manager, Eluby Chiyenda said the program, which was started in 2017, covers tuition fees mainly targeting female students to increase the number of qualified female engineers in the market so that when the Corporation wants to recruit, it should find suitably qualified ladies on the labour market.
“What we used to face in the past is that we couldn’t get the numbers that we were looking for,” she said. “So, we moved into a strategy to help in bringing up female engineers by awarding them scholarships to the best students.
“I can confirm that the program has brought competition among students whom we are looking for. In 2021, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the two institutions in which the Corporation will offer the scholarships to the best 3 students per year but so far we have offered 30 scholarships while today we have offered to 19 students,” Chiyenda said.