Press release

Malawian experts to take centre stage for first anniversary of Blantyre Declaration

Published on 14 August 2023

Leading Malawian experts will address audiences across the UK and Africa next week in the latest event in the University of Dundee’s Africa Lecture Series

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Two of Malawi’s leading minds, Professors Aggrey Ambali and Richard Mkandawire, experts in their respective fields of science and technology, and socioeconomics, will deliver public lectures to highlight challenges and opportunities in terms of research and innovation and transforming agri-food systems. 

The lectures form part of the University’s Africa Lecture Series, which are organised as hybrid events to give an opportunity for audiences in Scotland, across Africa and around the world, to participate in learning activities together and share access to expertise. 

The events have been developed as part of Dundee’s wider Africa Initiative, a long-term commitment to working in equitable partnership in research, education and engagement, to enrich lives both in Scotland and Africa. The initiative has already helped establish exciting partnerships in Malawi, Nigeria and Ghana.

UK audiences can join the event online on Thursday 24 August at 16:00, with free tickets available via Eventbrite.

Professor Ambali is a champion in Africa’s science and technology advancement and plays a key role in harnessing emerging technologies for development. He will deliver a talk titled ‘Shifting the centre of gravity: the role of scientific priority setting, diplomacy, and governance in strengthening Africa’s research and innovation ecosystems’. 

"As we navigate the complex landscape of development in Malawi and Africa, it is crucial that we harness the power of research, innovation, and strategic collaboration,” said Professor Ambali. “This lecture offers an opportunity to explore concrete pathways for sustainable progress, and I am honoured to contribute to this essential dialogue." 

Professor Mkandawire, a champion of “country-led” resource management and a driver of change and intercontinental partnerships, will present ‘Building coalitions of the willing in transforming African agri-food systems: lessons for Malawi’.

He said, “We appreciate the University of Dundee’s commitments in joining efforts of a coalition of willing partners in Malawi in generating knowledge and research that leads towards transforming lives in communities. The commitment to localisation of research in Malawi and building local coalitions that bring on board government, the non-state actors including the private sector and local communities, is a welcome paradigm shift that could pave the way for sustainable rural transformation in Malawi.”

The lecture falls on the one-year anniversary of the Blantyre Declaration – a shared commitment by Malawi’s universities and the University of Dundee to social purpose through a combination of education, research, and community service. 

Leaders from partner universities will gather in Malawi for a Summit next week to celebrate the first anniversary of the Declaration and strengthen the ways they work in partnership.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Dundee, said, “Our commitment to sharing knowledge throughout the world is at the heart of our Africa Initiative. The Blantyre Declaration demonstrates that commitment, empowering individuals, both in Scotland and Malawi, to build a better future for us all, address mutual challenges and further develop cultural ties. 

“The first anniversary of our declaration of intent is an opportunity for us to come together and reassert our dedication to the exchange of knowledge and the creation of exciting collaborations and opportunities through these relationships.

“The summit activities include the latest event in our Africa Lecture Series, which aims to champion some of the continent’s leading experts to share in conversation and promote understanding. I am very much looking forward to hearing both Professor Ambali and Professor Mkandawire’s talks.”

The event takes place on Thursday 24 August, from 16:00-17:40. Audiences can join live online, via Zoom. Free tickets are available to book via Eventbrite.


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878