The Mangochi Community Technical College in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Industrial Research (CIIR) at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) are designing an innovative capacity building model that would allow disadvantaged youth and women in Malawi to meet their livelihood entitlements.
During a recent meeting in Mangochi, the two institutions agreed to identify disadvantaged youth and women with disability challenges using geo-facing technology.
“This will allow creation of a location network map to provide specific interventions. The partnership will further undertake a training, skill, and capacity needs assessment to identify the existing skills among the target society. Then the institutions in partnership with the district council will design an innovation-entrepreneurship training model to capacitate the target beneficiaries,” said Dr David Mkwambisi, Head of CIIR at MUST.
According to him, the meeting also conceptualized a program that would allow use of drones to support income generation, access to resources, information, advice and linkage to customers.
“The model will also allow the target group to learn various vocational skills to create employment opportunities within their locations. It is expected that the program will be supported by the district council to provide business certificates to the target groups for proper partnership arrangements with supporting institutions such as microfinancing agencies,” added Dr Mkwambisi.
Speaking during the meeting, Board Chairperson for Mangochi Community Technical College, Mr Gift Chimbalanga, said their partnership with MUST would allow them to address community challenges and become more relevant to the people of Mangochi.
“This partnership will address the development gaps that disadvantaged communities face in their daily lives,” said Mr Chimbalanga.
In her remarks, MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata, said the partnership was in line with the university’s strategic plan, which promotes community engagement.
“We would like to work with community agencies and allow advancement of innovations to support vulnerable communities. This is a good platform for our students and faculty to add value to efforts undertaken by community colleges,” she said.
Mangochi Community Technical College Principal, Mr Mbasa Mwawembe, said described the partnership as fruitful and strategic, adding it would allow for improvement and promotion of innovations the college was advancing.
“For us, this will enhance the capacity of our staff and create a strong working partnership on innovations among our students. We will use our campus as training campus for MUST students,” he said.
The sentiments were corroborated by Dr Mkwambisi, saying the partnership would also allow faculty and students of the two institutions to support disadvantaged communities with unique innovative, inclusive and sustainable capacity building models for transformative development.
Mangochi Community Technical College was opened on March 25, 2017 and has 19 staff members with 164 students. It is currently offering training in eight areas, including Information and Communication Technology, Electrical Installation and Electronics.