MUST winds up Bantu9 conference

MUST winds up Bantu9 conference

The Bantu9 international conference that the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) was hosting in Blantyre, ended on Friday, June 10, 2022 after some grueling days of paper presentations and workshops.

The Bantu conference is a gathering of linguists and other language experts from across the globe to discuss new knowledge from their research endevours around the Bantu language family of Africa.

In his remarks at the opening of the conference on June 7, 2022, MUST deputy vice chancellor, Professor Jonathan Makuwira urged participants to double their research efforts on Bantu languages to ensure that they are documented.

“Gatherings like these are not just for knowledge sharing. Much as this is the critical part, the conference also offers us an opportunity to    disseminate research on Bantu languages across the African continent; discuss developments in the study of Bantu languages; consolidate collaboration among scholars on Bantu languages from the global north and the global south; provide an opportunity for Malawi to showcase its research in the field of language and culture; and provide a platform for Malawi to showcase its cultural goods,” he said.

He said MUST accepted to host the conference because it believes in its objectives in addition to providing the university a platform for learning.

Professor Makuwira said 21st Century universities need to make their names through generation of new knowledge that comes out of research endeavors and not mere teaching and learning.

He, therefore, called on higher education institutions to dedicate some resources towards research.

Professor Lutz Marteen, chairperson of the main Bantu committee who also made a keynote presentation, called on participants to ensure that the conference realizes its objectives by engaging presenters to add more value to the papers.

Another keynote speaker on the second day was Professor Nancy Kula, a Zambian teaching at University of Essex in the UK. Otherwise, presenters during the conference came from Africa, America, Europe and Asia.

MUST organized this year’s conference, which attracted over 100 local and foreign delegates, in partnership with Mzuzu University, University of Malawi and Catholic University.

This is the first time a Bantu conference was held in Malawi with Dr Atikonda Mtenje-Mkochi as chairperson of the local organizing committee.