German ambassador to Malawi Peter Woeste has named the newly-constructed 10, 000 Euro youth centre in Rumphi after the first German explorer to visit Lake Malawi, Albrecht Roscher. The 23 year-old German scientist came to Malawi, then Nyasaland, two months after Scottish explorer and missionary David Livingstone in 1859.
Woeste said Roscher came to Nyasaland under the Hamburg Trade Company and became the first German to discover Lake Malawi on his mission to es¬tablish trade links with Africa before he was murdered by Arab slave traders in Tanzania.
The German envoy said he named the centre after Roscher as an honour to the fallen youth¬ful explorer as well as to instil a sense of self-confidence and responsibility in Malawian youths in their pursuit for national development.
The Roscher Youth Develop¬ment Centre comprises an office and conference rooms. It has been handed over to the Rumphi Young Politicians Union that has been re¬ceiving financial support from the German government since 2008.
"The Union administration requested me to come and officially open the centre," said Woeste. "As a matter of appreciation to the German support, the union - with the authority of Paramount Chief Themba la Mathemba Chikulamayembe - requested me to name the centre which I was pleased to call the 'Roscher Centre'".
According to the Union, the youth group has since its forma¬tion managed to reduce political violence in the district, estab¬lished food security projects and increased youth leadership roles in the district. Speaking at the function Youth and Sports Minister Enock Chihana thanked the Ger¬man government and German institutions like GIZ and Konrad Adenauer Foundation for their support to Malawi.
Meanwhile the German gov¬ernment has also handed over 16 hostels and two classroom blocks to Karonga Teachers' Training College (TTC) worth 7.2 million Euros.
The new hostels have increased the institution's intake from 300 to 559, according to Karonga TCC officials. Woeste said it is the desire of Germany to assist in improving the standards of education in Malawi.
"Education is critical, it requires support. It is for this reason that the German government is supporting Malawi through the training of teachers who are a criti¬cal element in the development of the nation," he said, adding that teachers are community role models with powers to shape the society.
The Ambassador has since asked management of Roscher Centre and Karonga TCC to take full ownership of the infrastruc¬ture provided by making sure that they are properly used and maintained. "I urge the beneficia¬ries to properly utilise the facilities and guard them jealously against vandalism so that future genera¬tions could benefit from them as well," he said.
Principal for Karonga TTC Costa Lupafya hailed Germany for constructing the hostels and classroom blocks, saying increased student intake created by new hostels would reduce pupil-teacher ratio in the country's schools during the year 2011 to 2012, Germany's bilateral aid to Malawi had reached 900 million Euros while the European nations' current budget support is 20 million Euros, out of which 15 million Euros is yet to be released.