Miss Tionge Kumwenda (2nd from right)

Kumwenda represents UNIMA at the CODESRIA Colloquium

Students at the University of Malawi often participate in various local and international events, sharing knowledge gained during their studies and learning from others. Recently, Miss Tionge Kumwenda, a third-year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Media for Development programme, traveled to Mozambique to join scholars and students from universities across Africa. They gathered to discuss and explore the themes of academic freedom and democracy under the conference theme: “Academic Freedom and Sustainable Democracy in Africa: Re-envisioning the Role of Universities.”

Miss Kumwenda stated that the journey to the CODESRIA Colloquium on Academic Freedom and Democracy was an enlightening experience that broadened her horizons and deepened her understanding of the critical issues our societies face. The event, held from 15th to 17th April 2024, brought together representatives from six African universities, including those from Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Malawi. She also mentioned that the event’s rich diversity enhanced the discussions and allowed for a more nuanced exploration of academic freedom and democracy in the African context. 

 “The colloquium provided a platform for knowledge sharing, dialogue, and collaboration,” she said. “From the event, I gained a wealth of knowledge and insights on the importance of academic freedom, democracy, and critical thinking in education. Engaging with fellow scholars from different backgrounds allowed me to learn about the diverse perspectives and experiences that shape our understanding of these crucial issues.” 

The colloquium featured a variety of activities, such as presentations and debates on academic freedom and democracy, as well as question-and-answer sessions that encouraged dialogue and exchange. Furthermore, participants had the opportunity to explore the historical sites of Maputo, enhancing the experience with a cultural aspect.

 “Reflecting on the event, I am inspired by our shared commitment to promoting sustainable democracy and academic freedom in Africa. The insights gained from the colloquium will certainly guide my future efforts as a student and advocate for positive change within my university and beyond,” she stated.

Miss Kumwenda concluded by stating that the CODESRIA Colloquium was a transformative experience that reaffirmed the importance of dialogue, collaboration, and education in shaping a brighter future for Africa. She also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have been part of the journey and looked forward to applying the lessons learned to effect positive change in her community and society at large.