6 Jun, 2018

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The commitee members pose for a group photo after the meeting
Members of the Regional Aquafish Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) steering committee on Monday 4th June 2018 met to discuss on how the Aquaculture and Fisheries (AquaFish) project is progressing.

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) became a Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science after the World Bank Group’s board of executive directors approved it in 2016.

Speaking during the opening of the meeting, LUANAR Vice Chancellor, Professor George Kanyama Phiri emphasized on the importance of the meeting saying these are the crucial moments that define and help perfect strategic direction for the AquaFish Center.

“These Project Steering Committee (PSC) meetings add validity to an important dimension of helping technical execution of the Center's planned activities,” said Professor Kanyama Phiri.

He said LUANAR is committed to engage with partners and aid its growth in the areas of teaching, research, skills development, entrepreneurship to produce fit-for-purpose graduates for Malawi and the region.

“Our partners will and must play a role in ensuring that the above areas are leveraged upon and ensure that positive synergies are created to transfer knowledge, skills, private sector support in areas especially bordering on research,” said Professor Kanyama Phiri.

He said in nurturing strong relationships, the University will be on the right strategic direction towards achieving provision of quality education and encouraging the advancement, dissemination and commercialization of research
The Vice Chancellor said the AquaFish Center is helping to position LUANAR as a global force in higher education programing.

“The focus on the fish value chains has also added innovativeness ensuring that linkages within LUANAR departments generates more learning through research approaches and solutions for the national, regional and global challenges facing the aquaculture and fisheries sector,” he said.

He added that for the Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE II) partnerships to work LUANAR purposes to see that the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) that have been drawn are not for mere window dressing but that they are successfully implemented.

In his remarks, ACE Director, Professor Emmanuel Kaunda said the meeting was organised to remind themselves of the Terms of Reference (TORs and responsibilities as partners towards implementation of the project.

“As secretariat we will provide them with progress made so far, the challenges as discussed within our National Steering Committee as well University Steering Committee. We will also go through our individual MOUs,” said Professor Kaunda.

Professor Kaunda thanked LUANAR management team for the support they have been providing to the project saying they have received unprecedented support from the Vice Chancellor and his team in various ways

“The Vice Chancellor has put in place a monitoring mechanism for the programme where the secretariat presents to his team progress once every six months, through what is known as University Steering Committee. This is just to keep us on the line so that we serve you better. To this, we wish to openly express our gratitude to VC and his team before the partners present here,” he said.

He further thanked regional members who attended the meeting and these were Professor Julius Manyala of University of Eldoret and Dr. Silvia Mkandawire of Ruforum and these included

The project aims at producing fit-for-purpose graduates that will come up with innovations and technologies to ensure increased productivity in the aquaculture and fisheries sector.

ACE II has two centres of excellence in Malawi AquaFish with LUANAR and ACEPHEM in the University of Malawi’s – College of Medicine. These were officially launched in March of 2017 with the support from the World Bank.