Keetmanshoop UNAM Campus Opens

Keetmanshoop — Staffing the newly opened Southern Campus of the University of Namibia (Unam) will be a difficult task, said Vice-Chancellor of Unam Professor Lazarus Hangula at the official opening of the new campus in Keetmanshoop last week. The geographical location of the campus is also expected to present challenges, amongst which is to attract and retain staff, especially highly qualified and experienced professors and lecturers.

“I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to members of staff who have willingly decided to move to this new campus. This is the kind of spirit that will take our country forward,” he said.

In the meantime, launching the degree in military science that was introduced in 2012 proved a difficult task, he noted, although not insurmountable. Some of the soldiers lacked sufficient scientific background in order to enrol for the degree programme, necessitating Unam to introduce a preparatory course that could respond to the needs of the soldiers.

“As you may know, all over the world, warfare and peace enforcement have ceased to be confined to the trenches. They have become more sophisticated and require more complex training, skills and the use of technology,” said Hangula.

Meanwhile, Unam is working tirelessly to take advantage of the country’s endowment of diverse plant resources to discover new medicinal treatments for malaria and cancer to the benefit of all communities.

According to Hangula, Unam now has the capacity and facilities between the Multidisciplinary Research Centre, Faculty of Science and the schools of medicine and pharmacy to conduct this important research in-house without outsourcing it.

“Collaborative research is the hallmark of institutions of higher learning in the modern world. Unam is part of the global research network to address issues of national importance such as malaria eliminiation in Namibia by 2020. Following my visit to the University of California at San Fransisco, research on reactive case detection of malaria and identification of risk factors for malaria transmission will be expanded in Ohangwena, Omusati and Zambezi regions. Malaria is a scourge on the Namibian population and beyond. Unam is building capacity and expertise to mitigate against this in Namibia and our experiences will benefit the entire sub-region as all eyes are on Namibia to eliminate malaria,” he said.

The Unam Southern Campus is headed and administered by Coordinating Director, Dr Erold Naomab, five academic staff members, eight lecturers and 10 administrative staff members.

The campus which is the 12th regional campus of Unam has enrolled close to 50 pioneering students for this year, including 14 from the //Kharas Region, three from Hardap, eight from Omaheke, two from Otjozondjupa, one from Kunene, four from Erongo and Oshana each, one from Ohangwena, five from Khomas and one from Zambezi, as well as one from southern Africa neighbour Zambia.

“There is no doubt that Keetmanshoop will become a hub where people from all different cultures will come together and share innovation,” said Hilma Nicanor who doubles as Constituency Councillor for Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency and Deputy Minister of Ministry of Veterans.