In a bid towards fostering innovation and propelling sustainable development in the country, the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) Malawi in collaboration with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) is set to launch Grand Challenges Malawi Initiative on 30th August 2023 at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.
According to NCST Acting Director Gift Kadzamira, the initiative will redefine the country’s landscape of scientific progress and transformation.
Kadzamira further revealed that the initiative marks a pivotal juncture in Malawi’s journey towards unlocking its full potential through science, technology, and innovation.
“The Grand Challenges funding mechanism stands as a powerful catalyst, galvanizing the establishment of an enabling environment for innovative financing mechanisms that guarantee enduring support to science, technology and innovation (STI) in the African continent. It is therefore imperative to recognize Grand Challenges as an irresistible magnet, captivating engagement and nurturing the growth of science leaders.
“The GC global funding model has been replicated in Africa with the establishment of Grand Challenges Africa, an initiative of the Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation), which awards seed and scale-up grants to the continent’s bold innovative ideas and is the overarching arm for country specific Grand Challenges that have been established in Botswana, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, and Rwanda. Malawi becomes Africa’s sixth addition to the GC family,” said Kadzamira
The acting Director also emphasized the significance of the Grand Challenges Malawi initiative by highlighting the alignment of this initiative with Malawi’s Vision 2063, underlining the role of homegrown solutions in driving the nation’s progress.
“Innovators are the architects of a better tomorrow, and their innovations will not only address local challenges but will resonate universally. Together, we embark on an extraordinary expedition, fueled by the unyielding belief that our innovators hold the power to transform lives, uplift communities, and leave an indelible mark on the legacy of Malawian innovations,” she said.
The initiative has four-fold objectives: to strengthen the national innovation ecosystem, leverage resources and expertise from various sectors, optimize financing for research and innovation, and drive collaboration among scientists locally and globally.
The launch will be graced by the presence of Hon Madalitso Kambauwa-Wirima, the Minister of Education, who will officiate the commencement of this transformative initiative.
The Science for Africa Foundation, a pan-African non-profit organization committed to supporting scientific advancement across the continent, has been a driving force behind the Grand Challenges Africa initiative.
This initiative, which has already been established in Botswana, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, and Rwanda, has welcomed Malawi as its latest addition by offering seed and scale-up grants to innovative ideas, the initiative creates an enabling environment for science, technology, and innovation to flourish.