A well known Malawian scientist Franklin Peter Simtowe has passed away in Ethiopia, it has been learnt.
Born in Chitipa District in 1971, Simtowe held a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Agricultural Economics from the University of Bonn and Hohenheim in Germany.
His professional career spans over 25 years of socio-economics research in many international research institutes and organizations including most recently as Africa Director of Monitoring and Evaluation for the Sasakawa Global 2000 based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;.
He also had a stint as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Africa Rice Center (WARDA) based in Cotonou, Benin.
Narrating Simtowe’s death, Malawi’s Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia Mr Sagawa said that Simtowe collapsed in his office at Sasakawa Global 2000 in the afternoon of Friday, 9th October 2020 and is believed to have died on the spot.
He was rushed to Yared hospital in Addis Ababa where they pronounced him dead on arrival of cardiac arrest.
In order to seek second opinion they took him to St Paul hospital where the same pronouncement was made. While taking him to St Paul hospital they informed the police who came and took over the case.
Commenting on Simtowe’s death, his long time coach and mentor Professor Richard Mkandawire, who chairs the National Planning Commission (NPC) said that he was in complete shock at losing one of the finest young scientists in Malawi and in Africa.
“I have been mentoring Dr. Simtowe and a few other upcoming scientists for many years so that we may sustain the gains of our agricultural policy research work done over the last 30 years, as he was an emerging and passionate leader in the field”, lamented Professor Mkandawire.
“We have lost a true friend of African small scale farmers, a well published author and leader in agricultural policy research in Africa as Dr. Simtowe boasts over twenty peer-reviewed research publications in his career”, said Dr. Peter Setimela, a Senior Scientist at CIMMYT in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo expresses shock at the loss of Simtowe and said, “As a Tonse Alliance government in Malawi, we rely on experts to develop evidence based policies in all spheres of life. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s administration has many plans to harness the talents and expertise of our sons and daughters based in Malawi and abroad. As such, it is very painful for death to be robbing us of such talent. We commiserate with the family at this difficult time”.
The remains Simtowe was scheduled to arrive in Malawi on Tuesday 13th October and a vigil and mass, by the Roman Catholic Church, will be held at his house in Area 43 Lilongwe and then proceed to his home village in Kameme, Chitipa where his remains will be finally led to rest on Thursday, 15th October 2020.
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