Once every year, African students in India under the Association of Africa Students in India (AASI) commemorate Bingu Graduation Day, in memory of their first patron late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika who back home served as Malawi State President from 2004-2012.
This year’s commemoration took place on July 8 at Umbrao Hotel in New Dehli and in attendance was Malawi’s ambassador to India, George Mkondiwa. This year’s theme was “The Pan African Future is now” a rallying cry calling upon all Africans to develop the continent through Education.
Also in attendance were Alex Tsehaye Woldermariam, High Commissioner of the Republic of Eritrea; Mak Gen Chris Sunday Eze, High Commissioner of the Republic of Nigeria; Ali I’ll is sou, High Commissioner of the Republic of Niger; Mama Rosette Amabasartric, High Commissioner of the Republic of Congo; Asfaw Dingamo Kame, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ethiopia; Michael Aaron Oquaye Esq. Jnr, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana; Dr. Daniel Peter, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Sudan and Ms Indrayani Mulay, Deputy Director, International Division (CII)
In his speech, Mkondiwa identified Bingu as a true Pan Africanist whose vision was beyond country borders.
“He advocated for Africa solidarity. He also encouraged African students to work hard in their studies.”
Professor Bingu wa Mutharika, left a persistent legacy of an African academic who as a student and economist made an impact in India at a time when few Africans could achieve such a feat.
This legacy is what made Bingu an African name with a special place in Indian way of life.
His stint with India came way back in the 1950s when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India paved the way for African students to study in India.
Together with a host of young African students, Bingu arrived in India and enrolled as a student at Shri Ram College, Delhi University where in 1961 he obtained his Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree (with Honours). He also received a Master’s (M.A.) degree, in 1963 from the same institution.