In this video, Collins Namakhwa tells us about his upcoming research on the Market for Solar PV in Malawi as well as his motivation for the research.  Collins has received a scholarship under MREAP to pursue this research at the Polytechnic in Malawi.  He and the other 12 MPhil students are now 1/2-way through the programme having just completed a year of study.  This next year is focused entirely on research.

As a student in the first cohort to go through the programme it was very interesting to hear his response [shown at 8:04] to the question: “What are your thoughts on the creation of the MPhil programme here at the Polytechnic and the fact that it is entirely Malawian based?”

Here in Malawi there is some kind of respect that is given to people that study outside of Malawi, but the model which Strathclyde is using is one model that I wish everybody was using. To study in Malawi, doing Malawian things, by Malawians.  I think it is going to go along ways towards having respect – developing respect for Malawian education and Malawian educators.  This research, in terms of how it has been crafted… is as good as doing it anywhere, except that now you are also doing it in your own country.”

– Collins Namakhwa

Through the hard work of the Polytechnic, and in particular the collaboration of WASHTED and the University of Strathclyde, we were able to establish this new programme focused on building up Malawian research capacity in renewable energy.  As the first such programme in Malawi, its creation is an innovation in itself.    Further, it is quite encouraging to hear that the students themselves are appreciative of the particular approach taken to empower Malawian institutions to meet Malawian research needs in the field.