The UNDP yesterday handed over ICT equipment worth over K10 million to a group of students from Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) that are developing a mobile application (App) that will help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The students attracted the attention of UNDP when then President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and then Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr Dan Namarika, separately, visited MUST to appreciate the various innovations the university was doing around Covid-19.
Since then, the six students behind the App have been working with another organization that was already working with Ministry of Health and UNDP.
Speaking when he handed over the equipment, UNDP Project Manager for Civil Registration, Anthony Cameron said they realise that much as Covid-19 is a global problem, Malawi needs to develop its own solutions because of its unique situations.
“An example was on the lockdown. Western countries were able to implement it and in Africa it has not worked due to majority of people relying on daily earnings to make a living. Spo when we heard that the students had come up with a solution to Covid-19, we were more than ready to support,” he said.
On her part, MUST Vice Chancellor Professor Address malate, thanked UNDP for the equipment, saying much as the students have ideas, sometimes they are let down by lack of space and equipment to implement their ideas.
“We really appreciate for this equipment, which I can promise that it will be used for its intended purpose. We have students who are showing great potential in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship because as a university we deliberate encourage and promote these values,” she said.
Professor Malata also said MUST is open to new and external ideas on how best to come up with innovations that will solve some of the country’s problems.
The students will continue working on the App with guidance from lecturers and technical experts from Ministry of Health and UNDP.