By Yamikani Yapuwa
Malawi’s President, Peter Mutharika has underscored the need for the country to promote and nurture its innovations to put its mark on the globe.
Mutharika made the call on Friday in Blantyre during Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)’s Innovation Awards event which aims at recognising and awarding people who have done exceptionally well in innovations in various fields.
“Let me also add that it is not enough to promote innovation, let us protect the innovation of our people. I want to see a competent organisation established to patent and protect the innovation of Malawians. Let us put our mark upon the world.
“I also want to hear that innovators who have productive ideas and are well organised are given access to loans when they need capital.
“Together, we can create wealth and make Malawi a rich country. As I have said many times before, Malawi is not a poor country. It is the people who are poor.
“We are poor because we are poor in our mindset. The source of our poverty is nothing but the way we think,” said Mutharika.
He added that it is high time people bring solutions to the problems on the table instead of pointing fingers at each other.
“We see a problem, instead of stepping out to look for a solution, we want to find someone to blame. We enjoy complaining more than creating solutions. And we often like to play the victim.
“However, old time wisdom tells us: if you do not like something, change it! If you cannot change it, then change the way you think about it.
“Blaming others and playing the victim mentality will never take us anywhere as a country. The only way to change our country is for us to think differently. This is the only factor that distinguishes countries,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika then urged Malawians to start thinking differently and positively to achieve positive results just as foreigners do when they come into the country.
“If you think differently, you will be a different person. In this world, you are the only person you can change. Start thinking positively and you will begin to achieve positive results. You can never achieve positive results by thinking negatively.
“Other countries are different from us because they choose to think differently. Foreigners come into the country. They see what we all see. But they think differently.
“In every challenge we see, they see opportunities. And they take advantage, make money and leave us poor,” he added.
In his remarks, Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology, Mark Botomani applauded Mutharika for championing various projects in the ICT, infrastructure, education and health sectors among others which are critical to spurring innovation in this country.
“This is a clear indication that you are innovative yourself; no wonder today we are here to witness yet another crop of innovators in this year’s MBC Innovations Awards,” said Botomani.
Meanwhile, MBC has donated K5 million to Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) to help in its efforts to reach out to persons with disabilities in the country.