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Welcome Speech: TWENDE Launch Conference


By Prof. Burton Lunogelo Mhamilawa Mwamila, Vice Chancellor, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Arusha, Tanzania.

I feel greatly honoured on behalf of NM-AIST, to welcome you to our institution. NM-AIST is a very young institution which has only been operational since October 2011. Its establishment was in response to a suggestion that was made by the late Nelson Mandela and that is why the name Nelson Mandela. 

Mandela made a suggestion that there be established institutions of science and technology in sub-Saharan Africa as a way of addressing the knowledge deficit in the continent. He made the suggestion having observed how the Indian institutions have helped India to develop.

Currently there are three institutions under the umbrella of the NM-AIST – two are in West Africa in Abuja and in Wagadugu and the one in Arusha is the third one. Two more are about to be established – one in Zimbabwe and another one in Mali.

NM-AIST is dealing primarily with post-graduate training and research and the Institution is being developed into a model of academia for society and industry. The NM-AIST motto is “academia for society and industry.” So responsiveness to society and industry is the key. All research that is being carried out here is intended to respond to real needs and problems confronting the African Society and Industry.

NM-AIST has the capacity to absorb more students within the region. NM-AIST primarily caters for the Eastern African region and sub-Sahara Africa generally. Since its establishment, NM-AIST has had three graduations and has been able to produce 183 Masters graduate students and 32 Doctors of Philosophy (PhD graduates). NM-AIST emphasis timely completion of studies and has put emphasis on serious supervision.

NM-AIST has partnerships with many institutions in the region and the world and is benefiting from those partnerships a great deal. It is through partnerships that NM-AIST has been able to jointly develop proposals which have enabled it to attract funding from various funding agencies, including the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, and the like.

Ladies and gentlemen I want you to consider the possibility of recommending students to join NM-AIST to pursue Masters and PhD studies. I also welcome you to join NM-AIST in carrying out the mission for which NM-AIST has been established. You are welcome to visit us anytime.

Finally, I wish you very fruitful deliberations during the two days of the TWENDE Launch and please consider coming back again for follow-up conferences. Consider NM-AIST as a possible venue in future as well.

The Guest of Honour I wish to thank you very much for choosing to hold this conference at NM-AIST. It is a great privilege. I wish you the very best. Thank you very much.