Building a Shared Future: China helps Malawi build first science university
Higher education is the dream of many teenagers in Malawi. But its biggest difficulty is a lack of funding. China helped Malawi build its first science university, and its first class will graduate in 2019. Our reporter Li Jianhua has the story.
A song familiar to many Chinese. It traveled all the way to Africa. Particularly, to the Malawi University of Science and Technology, better known as MUST. From above one can see Chinese flares since China helped sponsor and build this university six years ago. Being the only university in Malawi with a focus on science, it has about three thousand students and a faculty of three hundred. Some of them are coming to China, as MUST is partnering with China Agricultural University.
ADDRESS MALATA, VICE CHANCELLOR MALAWI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY "The two universities have got a cooperation and we have a team that visited us from China a few months ago. In our cooperation we're looking for staff development, so our staff can come to China for studies, but also we can have staff from China come here to teach, and we're also looking for student exchange, so that students can go to China, and students from China can come to MUST."
Malawi is considered one of the world's poorest countries, more than 80 percent of Malawians live in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for over one-third of its GDP and 90 percent of its exports.
Regardless, Malawian authorities agree it's time the nation kick-started the development of science and technology.
HENRY MUSSA, GOV'T CHIEF WHIP MALAWIAN MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TOURISM "MUST is quite unique, because we are more into innovation who'd like to have creative minds, and that's what technology and science are all about. So for a long time and many years, Malawi had no such facility, so thanks to the People's Republic of China for this facility. And as I speak now, it's filling up with students with these high, sharp brains in science and technology."
As students continue to fill classrooms, more equipment and teaching resources are desperately needed.
LI JIANHUA BLANTYRE, MALAWI "This four-year-old university will have its first batch of graduates in 2019. But in a country, where the unemployment rate is rather high, the future of these graduates is less certain. LJH, CGTN, BLANTYRE, MALAWI."