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Be innovative, youths urged

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Justice Minister Titus Mvalo has challenged the country’s youths to take a lead in the innovation arena for Malawi to seize opportunities presented by the global digital economy.

Speaking during commemorations marking World Intellectual Property Day under the theme ‘IP and Youth: Innovation for a Better Future’, Mvalo said opportunities presented by technology in the fourth industrial revolution are pegged at $11.5 trillion or 15 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.

“We, as a nation, need to be creative and innovative to take advantage of the opportunities that the fourth industrial revolution presents. We need to generate digital products that can be attractive and marketable beyond our frontiers and therefore be a source of income for our economy.

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“The value of the digital economy globally is currently at $11.5 trillion, representing about 15 percent of the world’s GDP. Unless we are innovative as a country, we are not going to have a slice of this big cake,” Mvalo said.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Shigeki Komatsubara said the youth in Malawi form most of the population, with 51 percent of the people under 18 years of age.

He, therefore, said Malawi cannot talk of achieving national goals and global sustainable development goals without the full and active involvement of the youth.

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Kamatsubara said this is the reason UNDP is working with public universities to ensure that students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and expertise for developing and refining their innovations.

He noted that, building on top of existing infrastructure, UNDP is supporting Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (Mubas) to strengthen the capacity of its design studio and its innovation Hub for ideation, designing, mentorship, testing, learning and entrepreneurship.

“This initiative will not only benefit students from all public universities; young innovators from surrounding communities and the private sector will have access to the enhanced facilities at Mubas.

“We expect that the ideas and innovations from faculty, students and community innovators that are tested and refined through this facility will utilise the services of the Department of the Registrar General so that the intellectual property of the innovations is safeguarded,” he said.

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