FDH Bank, an organisation established by prominent Malawian businessman Dr Thomson Mpinganjira, has pledged MK150 million in scholarships for tertiary institutions. FDH Bank entered into the agreement with various educational bodies to promote national growth. Announcing the move, Thomson Mpinganjira explained that these educational institutions are an integral part in shaping the future of Malawi, affirming that the bank was privileged to have rewarding relationships with institutions of such standing.
Dubbed ‘FDH Cares Corporate Social Responsibility Education Scholarships’, the scheme will see FDH Bank invest MK72 million in the University of Malawi (UNIMA), funding 16 students for a period of four years at Chancellor College and Polytechnic. In addition, Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) will receive MK64 million, sponsoring 12 students for five years.
Mary Wasiri, Registrar of Chancellor College, thanked FDH Bank for its support. Professor Address Malata, Vice Chancellor of MUST, also thanked the bank, remarking that it was sad to see college students struggling to find money for food and other necessities. Although the Malawian Government provides loan facilities to students studying with higher learning institutions, Ms Malata explained that not all students can access those loans. She said that the move illustrated FDH Bank’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals through girl child education and empowerment.
Scholarship beneficiary Precious Chigamba explained that, thanks to FDH Bank, she could pursue her studies in medical microbiology. Her ultimate goal was to help develop a HIV vaccine, as well as working on medicines to treat the waterborne diseases caused by flooding in different regions of Malawi.
William Mpinganjira, FDH Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, explained that the bank had also extended internship opportunities for MUST students, illustrating FDH Bank’s commitment to promoting Malawi’s education sector. As a home-grown financial institution, FDH Bank takes pride in giving back to local communities through its corporate social responsibility policies.
Addressing the fund beneficiaries, William Mpinganjira urged them to make the most of their opportunities, expressing his faith in their abilities and telling them he looked forward to returning to celebrate their graduations. Medical microbiology student Chisomo Kanthanga – speaking on behalf of the MUST students – praised FDH Bank’s generosity in coming to the students’ rescue, affirming a collective promise that they would behave responsibly and work hard in class throughout their time with the university.
Established by an Act of Parliament in 2012, MUST was created with the aim of promoting the development, transfer, adaptation and application of technology, science, and innovation for micro- and macro-economic growth in Malawi. Its vision is to become a world class centre of scientific and technological research, education and entrepreneurship. This vision is being realised today through the learning institution’s conducive environment for quality learning, research, training, entrepreneurship, and outreach activities.
MUST was officially opened in October 2014 by His Excellency the President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. Today, MUST incorporates four operational schools: Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences, Bingu School of Culture and Heritage, the Malawi Institute of Technology, and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
In 2016, MUST hosted Malawi’s first national all-girl’s science camp. Numerous research projects undertaken by MUST staff and students have been featured in renowned publications and journals. Boasting its own research centre, MUST has been at the forefront of industrial research and technological development programs for more than 20 years, helping improve the quality of life of Malawians. Plans are currently underway to create a new Centre for Innovation and Industrial Research to drive science and technological innovation, focussing on renewable energy, essential oil, natural fibre, and the food industry.