MUST, NEEF collaborate

MUST, NEEF collaborate

The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) and the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) on May 31, 2022 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering a wide range of areas for cooperation.

Speaking in Lilongwe during the signing ceremony, NEED chief executive office Humphrey Mdyetseni said the collaboration between the two institutions started with NEEF providing internship placement for MUST students who were studying ICT related programmes.

“The students came at a time we were expanding by opening new offices to cover the whole country and at a time when we were finding a way of digitizing our services, especially loan application and processing. The students helped us a lot and we realized to could achieve more by extending our cooperation to other areas and formalizing it,” he said.

Mdyetseni said government mandated them to disburse around K70 billion within four years and this requires expanding their network and offering more efficient and quality service.

According to MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata who co-signed the MoU on behalf of MUST, said the cooperation with NEEF now covers internship placements, development of e-systems that NEEF can use in its loan disbursement processes, research around some aspects of NEEF’s operations, and offering financial services to interested MUST staff members and the university in its investment projects that lead to micro-industries.

In his remarks, NEEF board chairperson, Jephta Mtema said it was sad that most local institutions were using foreign technology systems to anchor their operations when our students can develop more localized and more affordable systems that are equally good.

“We are having foreign exchange challenges because we are paying international firms for services we can easily get locally. Let us support our experts to develop these systems for us and create employment and save on forex because we will be paying them in local currency,” he said, while challenging MUST to come up with innovations that can replace the ones local companies are sourcing from foreign institutions.

The two institutions agreed to ensure that the MoU is translated into activities as more often, such agreements are never implemented in full.

NEEF also said with its current 81 outlets across Malawi, it can now take over 70 students on internship.