Life insurance firm, Smile Life, on Friday May 7, 2021, supported innovation initiatives among staff and students at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) through a K5.5 million cheque.
Smile Life Insurance signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MUST in 2019 to support innovation initiatives undertaken by the university through the Vice Chancellor’s office.
In the MoU, the two parties agreed that depending on national economic outlook and Sm,ile Life’s business performance, the support would be reviewed and adjusted accordingly. This is why this year’s support was K500,000 more than the K5 million that was presented during the maiden function.
In his speech, Smile Life Insurance Company’s chief executive officer Stain Singo said as a company, they are motivated to support any initiatives that promote national development.
“Through the various innovations from staff and students, and community members as we have seen this year, we can easily grow our economy through manufacturing and import substitution while creating jobs for the nation. We believe through this support, we will in a way be contributing towards government’s creation of one million jobs,” said Singo.
He said his company, just like many others, was heavily affected by effects of Covid-19 but fortunately they still made a profit, hence their increase of the support towards the initiative.
“If things improve in the coming year, expect more improvements in the support next year,” he said.
Receiving the cheque, MUST Vice Chancellor Professor Address Malata thanked Smile Life for the support, saying the way companies have suffered under the weight of Covid-19, it would have been easier for Smile Life to say they would not be able to honour their commitment this year and everyone would have understood them.
“However, despite these challenges you still found it imperative to come and honour your pledge. This is a clear demonstration of your commitment towards innovations and promotion of higher education in general,” she said.
Professor Malata, therefore, called on other private sector players to support higher education institutions in areas that relate to their work.
“The private sector benefit from our outputs either through human resources or research and it is high time they supported some of our initiatives. Government on its own cannot provide everything, we need their hand,” she added.
This year, the support will go towards development to commercialization of innovations by some MUST staff, former students and members of the community.
After the cheque presentation, the team visited the design studio where the innovators are operating from.
The innovators are being supported with technical expertise from the university under the MUST Institute of Industrial Research and Innovation (MIIRI).