Columbia Commonwealth varsity honours Patricia Kaliati


One of the country’s private universities, Columbia Commonwealth University of Malawi, on Friday decorated Gender Minister Patricia Kaliati during its forth congregation.

The university, which started operating in the country in 2002, conferred a Ministerial Award of Excellence on Kaliati “for her diligent work in educating the teen mother, the key to bridging the literacy gap between men and women”. The award was presented by Columbia Commonwealth University of Malawi president, Prof. Tesfawe Ketsela.

Apart from the ministerial award, the university also conferred leadership, academic service and dedicated service awards to a wide range of people.


Kaliati hailed the university for recognising her efforts, but said the award was for her ministry since this was the institution that has made it possible for her to be recognised.

The minister said this was a third achievement for her ministry this year. The ministry has just been given the chairmanship in one of the African Union’s economic arms.

“I hope the award will go a long way in motivating the girl-child in the rural area, who often lacks role models to look up to. There are women in Malawi who are doing well and I hope that the girl-child will not give up on her education aspirations. Let me also urge mothers to play the role of models to their girl-children because it is them [mothers] who spend a lot of time with the children,” said Kaliati.


On his part, Ketsela said in an interview that he was happy that the university was playing a key role in complementing government’s efforts in the education sector.

“The moment we started offering our programmes after being accredited, we have not looked back. We let quality speak for us, and that’s the reason you don’t see us advertising [in the media].The provision of quality services is our advertising tool. We don’t take short cuts. Again, we waited for accreditation before rolling out our programmes, not the other way round,” said Ketsela.

Ketsela said time had come for Africans to develop faith in their education systems if they were to design tailor-made solutions to Africa’s problems.

Kaliati has, among other honours, been the recipient of Bringer of Change in the Southern African Development Community award as well as Outstanding Woman award.

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