A 1971 graduate of the University of Malawi (Unima), Evance Somba, has advised the current crop of students to be innovative and venture into entrepreneurial activities so that they ably contribute to Malawi’s economy.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of Unima’s golden jubilee celebrations at College of Medicine (CoM) last Saturday, Somba, who graduated from The Polytechnic with a diploma in Business Studies, noted an increase in unemployment rates, hence the need for students to be innovative.
“It is not only about employment, college education enables an individual to think between the lines, they are able to appreciate the economic value of things around them and have special skills which if well utilized can benefit the country economically,” he said.
He said many people are now vying for university education, making the job market more competitive.
Added Somba: “Those days University students were very marketable to the point that some were compelled to leave the university and join the work force before finishing their courses.
“Companies were sponsoring our courses to win us, but these days things have changed and this should act as an eye opener to those graduating.”
Apart from working for Petroleum Importers Limited, Somba also worked for Press Furnitures and Joinery, Oilcom and Mobil Malawi Limited.
Somba now serves as Group Village Headman Binali under Traditional Authority Somba in Blantyre. He also owns a cane furniture company which exports cane chairs to various countries in Africa and beyond.
Roseby Makawa, a third year student at the Chancellor College noted that Unima has introduced new courses that empower students to be innovative.
“Like in my case, I am doing Bachelor of Education Social Studies majoring in Arts and Designing. Through this course I have obtained designing skills and with these skills I can be a big employer,” said Makawa.
However, Makawa said poor accommodation and meals are affecting students in the University.
“For instance, there are 3 000 students at Chancellor College, but only 1200 students are accommodated at the campus. This is really affecting us negatively as some are forced to live in shacks outside the campus,” she lamented.