The University of Malawi (Unima) vice-chancellor Emmanuel Fabiano on Wednesday disclosed that the institution wants to introduce mining engineering, metallurgy and mineral processing at The Polytechnic.
Fabiano made the disclosure when he addressed this year’s first congregation of a graduation ceremony for the award of degrees and certificates to graduating students at the Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
The vice-chancellor said the introduction of new programmes is a response to the needs of Malawi.
His remarks come at a time when Malawi’s mining sector has manifested signs of booming and is tipped to contribute over 20 percent to the country’s total wealth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) come 2016.
Currently, the sector’s contribution to GDP is just less than five percent.
The sector is also currently faced with challenges ranging from lack of trained Malawian personnel, which has led to the country’s overreliance on expatriates.
“Malawi is promoting the mining sector as one way of diversifying its economy. But we do not have the required capacity in terms of human capital to enable the country to benefit fully from the mining sector,” lamented Fabiano.
He added: “The university is also aware that local mining companies may not have the financial muscle to import human capital to meet requirements in the mining sector.”
Fabiano said there are also plans to introduce biomedical engineering programme to be jointly offered by The Polytechnic and College of Medicine (Com).
At the ceremony, the university graduated 569 students from Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), The Polytechnic, Com and Chancellor College of which 40 percent were females.