One of the features that make the University of Malawi to be a preferred higher education institution among many secondary school leavers in the region is the relationship that it forges with various organisations that represent the industry. These relationships ensure that the learning content offered at the university is aligned with industry needs. The latest in these relationships was established on 24th July 2023, when the University of Malawi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Blantyre Water Board (BWB). This MoU establishes a mutually beneficial relationship between the two institutions, aiming to provide reciprocal assistance. The main objective of this mutual relationship is to enable UNIMA to offer technical support to BWB, including water quality analysis, research, and training in water-related matters. In return, BWB will support UNIMA by providing student attachments.

The signing ceremony took place at Blantyre Water Board. Present at the function were representatives from UNIMA, including the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr. Sunduzwayo Madise; the University Registrar, Mr. Martin Matululu; and Professor Cosmo Ngongondo, the Executive Dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences. The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department was represented by Dr. Timothy T. Biswick (Head of Department) and Dr. Margaret Maoni.

In his remarks, Dr. Sunduzwayo Madise, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Malawi, expressed his gratitude to the BWB team for their collaboration, as it marks a significant milestone in the journey of both institutions. He emphasized that the student industry attachments at BWB will provide invaluable opportunities for UNIMA chemistry students, enabling them to gain practical skills and real-world experience.

“The University of Malawi is well-prepared for this MoU, boasting expertise, highly sophisticated Chemistry laboratories, and staff ready to provide necessary assistance to BWB,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Blantyre Water Board, Dr. Robert Hanjahanja, explained that this MoU with the University of Malawi (UNIMA) will be instrumental in assisting BWB to provide quality water to citizens. Through this agreement, BWB will have access to the facilities of UNIMA, where they can conduct water tests during times when they lack the necessary resources. Additionally, in cases of uncertain research, they can seek knowledge and advice from the experts at the University of Malawi.

Dr. Hanjahanja also pointed out that the MoU goes beyond providing industry attachments to 3rd and 4th-year Chemistry UNIMA students. BWB is committed to financially supporting outstanding female candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds in the field of science, covering their tuition fees, and offering opportunities to work with BWB after completing their studies.

The ceremony ended with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.