By Duncan Mlanjira
Wisely Phiri, group managing director and founder of Malawi’s information and communications and technology (ICT) company, SPARC Systems Limited, will be amongst high profile professionals on Thursday, November 28, who will deliver public lectures at Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa) that has been built in Kigali, Rwanda and was inaugurated by President Paul Kagame last week.
According to its website, CMU-Africa, established in 2011, is the only U.S. research university offering its master’s degrees with a full-time faculty, staff and operations in Africa.
It was born out of a partnership between CMU and the government of Rwanda with the objective of addressing the critical shortage of high quality engineering talent required to accelerate development in Africa — home to the fastest growing workforce in the world.
Wisely Phiri, who will deliver his lecture under the theme; ‘Digital Disruption: Opportunities for Africa, Innovating Beyond Borders’, says it’s such a great honour to be recognised to speak at such a great institution.
“This is also an opportunity to market to young Malawians that they can explore the possibility of enrolling at CMU-Africa, whose academic programmes are tailor-made to suit the development needs of aspiring engineers in Africa.
“CMU-Africa’s vision is to educate and empower the next generation of African leaders and innovators by delivering a world-class educational experience.
“Their mission is to produce creative and technically strong engineers, who have been trained in the African context, and prepared to make transformative impact in their communities and the world,” he said.
CMU-Africa says it’s presence in Rwanda provides a platform to engage in Africa’s most significant opportunities and challenges through world-class education and contextually-relevant research.
SPARC Systems Limited was established in 2013 but it is making inroads in Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia’s ICT market where it has several branches.
Wisely left a successful international IT company and set up his own in 2013 and In two years, www.sparcsystems.africa) grew into a formidable force with a leading market share in the IT trade and five offices in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda.
He currently employs 52 full time and over 300 part-time and out-sourced staff.
As a leader, Wisely’s impact goes beyond SPARC as he has served the ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) as its president (2016-2018) and during his term, the number of paying members went from just 20 to 1,051.
He also supports numerous charitable causes including paying fees for students in various universities in Malawi.
To date he has raised funds for 105 financially challenged students at risk of being withdrawn from the University of Malawi. Furthermore, he mentors institutions, IT experts and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Academically, Wisely graduated from the University of Malawi in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Distinction.
Recently, he was an Adjunct Lecturer at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
From 2017 until 2018, he lectured in Business Innovations and Operating Systems which are some of his core expertise areas including database and storage systems, cloud services and data centers.
This rapid expansion of SPARC Systems has been possible because of Wisely’s rare combination of academic prowess, progressive technical capability, leadership and team building skills.
His business acumen and entrepreneurial enthusiasm coupled with passion for solving complex technical problems of current and future clients, is what motivates Malawian, Zambia and Rwandan profession to do business with SPARC.