Poverty in a Sea of Abundance

Namibia is endowed with abundant natural resources, but the country continues to exhibit economic inequalities that seem to continue to increase unabated and poverty levels that are growing at alarming rates. That was the view of the Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia (Pon), Professor Tjama Tjivikua during the official inauguration of the Keetmanshoop Gemstone Centre last week on Friday.

Professor Tjivikua said so much of this challenge lies in the lack of education and skills of the Namibian people as it is reflected in the low enrolments or success rates in basic education, vocational education and higher education.

The present economy and the knowledge society we are building will depend more on educated and skilled persons. It is therefore an obligation of the government and universities to create the required manpower to create a more engaged and productive citizenry and a more equal society. “That is because education is the greatest equalizer,” Tjivikua noted.

The academic further noted in the Namibian context it is clear that a resource-based economy alone can no longer provide the level of development and growth required to establish and maintain international competitiveness. Vision 2030 is a response to this reality it seeks to galvanise the nation to focus attention and effort on translating these endowments of natural resources into resource-based industrialisation, broad-based development and prosperity.

Tjivikua said the Keetmanshoop Gemstone Centre (KGC) will lead to local economic development, increase job creation and poverty reduction in southern Namibia.

The rector also announced at the same occasion that this year is for the Polytechnic of Namibia a defining year as it is undergoing transformation to the University of Science and Technology. “This transformation is not imply a name change, but it entails profound changes in its functional role and how it will conduct its business.

Source : New Era