The former Malawi president, Bingu wa Mutharika obtained his Bachelor of Commerce (B, Com) degree (with Honours) from Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, in 1961. He also received a Master’s (M.A.) degree, in 1963, after the first Prime Minister of Independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had paved the way for African students to study in India.
Bingu Graduation Day was set aside by African students in India to remember Mutharika, who was the founding patron of AASI. The association has been holding the event since 2014.
Attending the function were High Commissioners from a number of African countries such as Eritrea, Nigeria, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Sudan, all resident in India.
And according to Malawi High Commissioner to India, George Mkondiwa, the presence of such Heads of Mission at the Bingu Graduation Day underscores the importance the African continent attaches to Bingu wa Mutharika’s legacy.
Mkondiwa added that it was pleasing that AASI was still alive and vibrant after late Mutharika advocated for its resuscitation during his 2010 state visit to India.
“As you are all aware, in November 2010, the late President of Malawi Prof. Ngwazi Bingu wa Mutharika conducted a State visit to India. His nostalgic visit reminded him of his life in India in those days and he described India as his second home. While in India, among other things, the University of Delhi presented to him an honorary Degree of Letters. As Chairman of the African Union, he also had the occasion to address African Heads of Mission as well as African students at Taj Mahal in New Delhi.
“In his speech, he advocated for Africa solidarity. He also encouraged African students to work hard in their studies and asked them to resuscitate the Association of African students, which he himself was a member during his days at the University of Delhi in the early 1960s. When he returned to Malawi after the State visit, he remembered you and sent token gift to encourage you and promote your Association. Today as I stand here, it is pleasing to note that the Association is alive and kicking. Bingu is gone but his spirit is much more alive,” said Mkondiwa.
Mutharika governed Malawi between 2014 and 2012. This year’s his graduation day was held under the theme: The Pan African Future is now.