Two major learning Institutes to be established at the coast soon

The University of Namibia (UNAM) plans for the establishment of a Centre for Mining and Metallurgical Research and Training (CMMRT) and an Institute of Marine Engineering and Maritime Studies (MEMS) at the coast. The launch took place at The Dome in Swakopmund on Friday.

These two milestone initiatives are spearheaded by the Founding President of Namibia, Dr. Sam Nujoma. According to Dr. Nujoma these two initiatives will help Namibia build its own human resource capacity in terms of high-level skills needed to meet the increasing demands for efficient and effective operations for Namibian industries.
“It is recognised worldwide that maritime nations like Namibia needs to embrace the blue economy concept as an approach to sustainable development and growth. This involves industries and resources such as fisheries and aqua-culture, water resources, shipping and transport, tourism, marine engineering, minerals, genetic resources, blue carbon trading, biotechnology and general sea products,” explained Dr. Nujoma in his keynote address on Friday.
Nujoma noted that although UNAM currently provides education and training in the field of fisheries and aquatic sciences at the Sam Nujoma Campus at Henties Bay, there are no academic programmes related to marine engineering and maritime studies at UNAM or any other learning institute in the country at large.
“In order to address this big development gap UNAM has decided to establish an institute of Marine Engineering and Maritime Studies within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology of UNAM, to be based at the coast,” Nujoma added. This institute should preferably be established at Walvis Bay.
He continued by stating the envisaged institute will play an important role in providing quality higher education and training beyond what is currently being offered by the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI).
The Institute will also promote research and development strategies as well as activities focused on optimisation of operations and services. At the same time playing an important role in human resource skills development through in-service training and tailor-made courses to address existing skills gaps in the fishing sector and maritime related industries.
“As we all know, science and technology education and research are the engines that drive socio-economic development and growth through sustainable and responsible utilization of the country’s mineral resources. With this in mind, UNAM has decided to also establish a Centre of Mining Research and Training at Arandis, again after consultation with several key stakeholders,” explained Dr. Nujoma.
According to him the proposed centre would provide skills upgrade to mining personnel and become a centre of excellence in research towards mining and metallurgical engineering and technology with a particular focus on mineral beneficiation, materials handling and transport systems in mines.
In addition the centre promises to provide mining geology, health and safety, recycling and waste disposal at mines. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the centre will focus its studies on mineral processing and value-addition, land ecosystems and rehabilitation of degraded land and the impact of mining operations on the environment.
“This the centre will provide transdisciplinary research and training for human resource capacity building that is needed for our country’s sustainable industrial development and growth. The centre will also enhance employment opportunities for young Namibian graduates by providing them with opportunities to qualify further, and become engaged in a sector that is projected to grow substantially in the future,” said Nujoma.
According to the implementation plan for the institutes, the academic programmes are expected to be in place by June 2018. Adequate professional teaching, research and administrative staff is expected to be recruited between June and July next year. During the launch of this two institutes, a total of N$554 000 was raised through cheque and pledges. Arandis Town Council availed land for the establishment of the Centre of Mining Research and Training, valued at the tune of N$4.1 million.

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