GCU helps transform Malawis emerging tourism industry

30 October 2012

The University’s Professor John Lennon and Professor John Wilson have been in Malawi congratulating the first graduates of a “transformational” GCU-developed programme to help boost the country’s emerging tourism industry.

They conducted a the graduation ceremony for seven members of the teaching faculty of the Malawi Institute of Tourism who have completed The Masters International Tourism Enterprise, designed by GCU for Malawi and other developing countries.

They were joined at the ceremony by Daniel Liwimbe, Malawi’s Minister of Tourism , Isaac Katopola, Malawi’s Director of Tourism, Ted Nandola, Chief Executive of Blantyre City, where the institute is located, and Charles Nakanga, Blantyre’s District Commissioner, as well as  local politicians and representatives of the private sector.

Malawi Institute of Tourism’s Director Mike Matola said: “The project has been transformational for the institution and people of Malawi – we now have upgraded food production and service facilities, computer labs, libraries and staff who have experienced a step change in qualifications.”

Said Professor Lennon: “It was a joyous occasion. The award of MSc in International Tourism is a triumph of GCU's access mission on a truly global scale. These students faced food and fuel shortages, power cuts and civil unrest, finally resulting in a change of president in the course of their studies. However, their tenacity and willingness to learn in adversity enabled them to complete their qualifications successfully. At a University level, staff have taught and supervised research in truly challenging circumstances, and triumphed.”

The Masters programme was part of a £370,000 Scottish Government’s International Development Fund supported project, which also saw the University’s Moffat Centre develop a state-of-the-art education and training facility at the institute that will help educate staff to lead the fledgling tourist industry in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The Moffat Centre has been working with the Malawi Institute of Tourism since 2007 and has helped develop a library, training kitchen and IT labs as well as upgraded its syllabus and developed a range of commercial short courses for industry.

It is now hoped that GCU will continue to build on its work in Malawi.