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Minister Wirima calls for researchers to come up with innovative solutions for humanitarian crises

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Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima has called upon researchers to come up with innovative solutions to solve the humanitarian crisis through modelling climate change and its impacts.

Wirima was speaking on Wednesday in Lilongwe during the launch of National Research Agenda (NRA) developed by National Planning Commission (NPC) in collaboration with National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) with support from Unicef.

She said through the NRA, environmental sustainability pillar will allow researchers to come up with solutions that will solve the negative impacts of cyclone Freddy which the country is currently facing.

“I therefore direct the NCST to immediately put up a research call through NRA that will solve negative effects of cyclone Freddy using available resources in the Science and Technology fund,” she said.

Kambauwa-Wirima addressing participants to the National Research Agenda launch

Wirima also encouraged youths and Early Career Researchers (ECR) to respond to the call that will evoke the application of predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI) to project occurrence of the natural disasters and help improve preparedness to such catastrophic phenomena.

She added that effective implementation of NRA will stimulate economic growth and realize Malawi 2063 aspirations.

Wirima assured that her ministry will advocate and lobby Parliament to prioritize Research, Science, Technology and Innovations (RSTI) if Malawi is to catch up the new pathways of attaining socio-economic development and transformation.

NCST Chairperson, Professor Emmanuel Kaunda said the scientific world has not done much to be able to state in advance on how to alert people.

“We want to bring out the young minds which the country has to be able to get into science and technology, artificial intelligence to be able to alert or prepare people if there is a disaster,” he said. 

Kamanga said the research agenda is key and is providing a platform where all will going to be done in a coordinated manner.

NPC Director General, Thomas Munthali bemoaned less conduct of research and development of innovations and technologies which could have spurred growth on the country.

“Perhaps, our research and technological endvours were less informed by what we want and aspire as a country in improving our economic growth and living conditions as well as transformation we aspire,” he said.

Munthali said the  NRA will provide a strategic focused research, innovation and technologies that should propel Malawi to a future it desires.

The NRA has been developed to operationalize the research and innovation needs of the country on the quest for the lower middle income economic status by 2030 and an upper middle income Inclusively wealthy and self-reliant by 2063.

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