The university of Malawi (UNIMA) debate team beat Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS), in a thrilling encounter by 36 points to 31. This was the inaugural debate of the 2021 University Students' Debates Competition held on 20th August, 2021 at the MUBAS School of Engineering.
The two teams debated on the topic; “Should the government still follow the Public Finance Management (PFM) guidelines amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, or a new modus operandi is required?” UNIMA proposed government should still follow the PFM guidelines even amidst the pandemic; MUBAS opposed this proposition.
The debates organized by ECAMA, Oxfam in Malawi, LUANAR with financial support from the European Union in Malawi aim provide a unique opportunity to students to share perspectives as well as well-researched evidence on best practices on PFM policy and practice, which could be used to influence PFM policy decision making in the country.
UNIMA was represented by Fatso Makuluni, Jennifer Mwenebanda, Precious Bengo and Samuel Mphande whereas from MUBAS, it was Wongani Mhango, Alester K Monjeza, Martin Manyozo and Christina Mabvuto.
In his opening remarks, ECAMA senior Economist, Emmanuel Banda said that the debates aim to create a platform for the students to share knowledge and their understanding of the PFM and accountability system including its strengths and weaknesses as perceived and policy direction for improving the systems.
“It is our belief as a consortium that to meaningfully influence policy decision making, in PFM, there must be an active constituency of citizens such as young people, who have capacity to express evidence-based and objective views to policy makers’, said Banda.
The panel of judges of this debate comprised, Donasius Pathera, a seasoned Development Economist but also PFM specialist, Lowina Mwasigala, an experienced Bank Examiner, and Janet Simbeye, Research Economist.
Next in the fixtures are the defending Champions, the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA) up against Blantyre International University (BIU), after which we will witness two other fixtures in Lilongwe which will feature two debutantes; Pentecostal Life University (PLU) as well as the Malawi Institute of Management (MIM).