Japan invest in education exchange for Namibia

WINDHOEK: The Japanese government has invested in the enhancement of academic exchange between Namibia and Japan as one of its mid-long-term drivers for strengthening bilateral relations. Speaking at a celebratory ceremony of the 26 Namibian beneficiaries of Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) here Wednesday, Japan Ambassador to Namibia, Hisao Nishimaki said the scholarship is a dedication and commitment to the education sector of Namibia aimed at unlocking the different development sector and potential that is locked within Namibia. Nishimaki explained that MEXT is a fully funded Japanese government scholarship which provides research programmes and teacher training for international students including Namibian students who wish to study at Japanese universities. He noted that the scholarship has mostly funded students for their PhD studies in key development areas such as agriculture science, applied chemistry and chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mar ine resources, energy and mathematics education, amongst others. 'These areas are found to be key to Namibia's development agenda as indicated in the Namibia Development Plans (NDPs) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) 1 and 2 as well as the Vision 2030,' he noted. One of the first scholarship's beneficiaries, Pamwenafye Nanhapo, a senior lecturer on crop science at the University of Namibia (UNAM) Ogongo campus in the Omusati region currently trains students on rice production and has developed a three-hectare rice production unit producing two tonnes of rice called 'Ogongo rice.' Nanhapo said he wishes to assist in the rice production at the Kalimbeza rice project in Katima Mulilo, considering the drought conditions in Namibia. At the same event, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Natalia Goagoses, said for the young Namibian government to foster development it is imperative to educate the nation, however, the government alone cannot achieve the goal within the desired time frame, therefore strategic partnership is required to cultivate collaboration in the education sector to equip the citizens. 'If our people are allowed to study and be empowered we will see many more individuals impacting the lives of Namibians by having already put the knowledge and skills into practice,' she noted. Namibia, she said, is equally affected by climate change and if the country does not receive rain anytime soon it will have an impact on the shortage of food, therefore, knowledge and skills received through the Japanese government, especially on crop production, such as rice production will assist the nation in food security. Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Uukwiyoongwe CS receives assistance

The Uukwiyoongwe Combined School located 15km east of Oshakati East on Wednesday received monetary donation from Rani Group worth N.dollars 40 000 aimed at the reconstruction of classrooms that burnt down earlier this year. The incident of arson was reported in January this year, where a classroom, a library and a storeroom caught fire. Officially handing over the donation on behalf Rani Group, Swapo Party Regional Coordinator, Werner Iita, said education is a shared responsibility and members of the community and business community need to meet government halfway. According to Iita, every educated person does not go through shortcuts but takes determination, hard work and assistance, through community upliftment. He noted that they received a letter of assistance from the school and approached three business people in the region, with Rani Group positively responding to the request. 'The company requested the school to ensure that the funds are used for the intended purpose of ensuring that the Namibian child is assisted in his or her education,' he said. Iita also indicated that there are so many challenges faced by the education ministry, which is why the involvement of other stakeholders is crucial. The school's principal, Albertina Hamalwa, stated at the same occasion that the donation from Rani Group will enable them to rebuild their storeroom, library and one of the classes that burnt down. The school, which has a learner population of 150 learners, offers education ranging from pre-primary to Grade 9. Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Khomas Regional Council signs Workplan with Jiangsu province

Khomas Regional Council (KRC) on Monday signed a Workplan with a delegation from the Jiangsu province of China on essential priority targeted areas of the existing twinning partnership. The delegation headed by China's Ambassador to Namibia, Zhao Wei Ping and the Vice Governor of Jiangsu Provincial, Ma Xin, hailed Khomas Governor Laura-McLeod Katjirua, as the founder and principal orchestrator of Khomas region and Jiangsu province partnership which has culminated in the signing of the work plan. In June 2015 the KRC and Jiangsu Province signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which later translated into another agreement signed between the KRC and the Standing Committee of Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress on 20 October 2023, leading up to the monumental signing of the Work plan between the twin cities on this day. Speaking at the signing ceremony, KRC Chairperson Shaalukeni Moonde said 'The signing of the Workplan is consequent to recognizing the tangible impact of the existing cooperation to the t wo nations and institutions, based on equality and mutual benefits, to promote two-way exchange.' As per the signed agreement, the Workplan acknowledges the extreme need to accelerate progress in friendly people-to-people contacts and cooperation, in the fields of science, technology, education, culture, sports, health, trade and investment, agriculture, investment, environment protection, tourism and human resources. In her address, McLeod-Katjirua acknowledged that the previously signed agreements put the singing of the work plan in motion, 'it is these two signed agreements that gave us the legitimate authority and absolute mandate to sign this envisaged five-year work plan to make our twinning partnership a more active and relevant force for our present and future development challenges as partners.' McLeod-Katjirua further called on the administrators of the Work plan to keep the wheel moving in the right direction and the leading agents of the sectoral partnership, to make the fruits of their ties of partnership more visible, alive and tangible to motivate or encourage others to emulate and to see the strength of this Khomas /Jiangsu partnership. Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Kandjii-Murangi cautions against dissolving NTA board

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Higher Education, Training, and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, has warned against the dissolution of the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) board, saying it will disrupt its operations. The minister made the observation on Monday, when she addressed concerns raised by stakeholders against the constitution of the NTA board. 'It is important to acknowledge that the dissolution of a duly appointed and functioning board would disrupt the continuity of operations at the NTA, thereby impending the delivery of essential services to stakeholders. 'Such a course of action would be detrimental to the interests of all parties involved and would not serve the best interests of the nation,' Kandjii-Murangi said during a media briefing. The minister was clarifying the matter surrounding the board appointment after media reports that labour unions and employer federations have given the board 30 days to dissolve. They claim that Kandjii-Murangi failed to incorporate their representatives in l ine with the Vocational Education and Training Act. Kandjii-Murangi appointed the new board in January 2023 to oversee the operations of the NTA, which is responsible for technical and vocational training. The seven-member board is chaired by Jerome Mutumba, a senior manager at the Development of Namibia, and businesswoman Ester Hoveka as deputy. 'It is regrettable that the concerns regarding the composition of the board have only been raised at this juncture; despite the board having been in operation for over a year now, it is crucial to question the timing of these objections and to consider whether they are driven by genuine concerns for the effective functioning of the NTA, or by other motives,' the minister said. In order to address the issue, Kandjii-Murangi said she has asked the Ministry of Labour and Employment Creation, the unions, and employer associations to nominate individuals to be added to the current board. Meanwhile, the minister said she was not involved in the process, adding that app licants were shortlisted and interviewed by the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises in line with the Public Enterprises Governance Act. 'It is recommendations that come to us that we look at and see whether or not these names that are here will be able to fit in serving the different functions of the given institution,' the minister said. Source: The Namibia Press Agency

First cohort to embark on Youth for Green Hydrogen Scholarship Programme mobility phase

WINDHOEK: Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Natalia Goagoses on Tuesday announced that 49 Master's Degree students from the first cohort of the Youth for Green Hydrogen Scholarship Programme are to embark on the mobility phase of the programme. The mobility phase involves students travelling to German academic and research institutions for one semester which begins in April 2024. Speaking at the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) Green Hydrogen Symposium, Goagoses said all 49 students have been successfully placed at German academic and research institutes. 'The Federal Ministry of Education and Research and SASSCAL have agreed to collaborate with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to support the mobility of our students to Germany. To this end, DAAD has recently selected 28 extraordinary students to participate in the prestigious DAAD Green Hydrogen fellowship and embark on a transformative academic mobility stay in Germany between April and May 2024,' Gaogoses said. She said the ministry has played a bilateral role in the establishment of the Namibian Youth for Green Hydrogen scholarship programme and the programme has created opportunities for many Namibian youth, a step towards building a green hydrogen-ready workforce. The scholarship programme has been designed to primarily target undergraduates, graduates and those interested in advancing in the field of green hydrogen. It offers scholarships to Namibians between the ages of 18 and 35 years, in two categories related to green hydrogen. The first is a Master's Degree in disciplines such as applied sciences, renewable energy and sustainable systems, and the second focuses on technical and vocational training TVET certificate level one to level five. The programme has so far awarded 181 scholarships since its first intake of 62 Master's students and 29 TVET students in 2022, followed by 90, with 78 students successfully registered with institutions of high er learning and TVET institutions, in 2023. The symposium was held under the theme 'Green Hydrogen in Practice: Pilot Projects and Y4GH2 Scholarships.' Source: The Namibia Press Agency

NBL launches “Take a Second” campaign ahead of Easter weekend

WINDHOEK: Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) on Tuesday launched the 'Take a Second' campaign, to advocate for responsible alcohol consumption, ahead of the Easter long weekend. NBL Manager for Corporate Affairs Surihe Gaomas-Guchu in a press release said the brewery aims to raise awareness about the importance of moderation and mindfulness when indulging in alcoholic beverages. 'The brewery encourages individuals to consider the consequences of over-indulgence, and emphasizes the need to enjoy alcohol responsibly to safeguard both personal well-being and the safety of others,'' she said while emphasizing that the campaign underscores the significance of adopting a positive attitude and behaviour towards consumption, promoting a balanced approach to enjoyment. She stated that the campaign offers practical tips for responsible drinking and NBL advises individuals to moderate their alcohol intake by spacing out drinks with water or opting for non-alcoholic alternatives. 'Understanding one's limits is also cruc ial, considering factors such as age, weight, and overall health. NBL highlights the impact of food intake on alcohol absorption, recommending individuals to eat well and stay hydrated to mitigate the effects of alcohol on the body,' she noted. Goamas-Guchu further said that the campaign stresses the imperative of never drinking and driving, emphasizing the risks of accidents and injuries associated with impaired driving. To further promote responsible consumption, NBL encourages individuals to plan transportation ahead of time, designating a sober driver among friends or utilizing alternative transportation options. 'As part of our educational efforts, NBL introduces 'EduDrink,' a six-part online course aimed at enhancing knowledge on responsible consumption accessible through www.edudrink.com,' stated Gaomas-Guchu, further urging citizens to prioritize safety and well-being while celebrating. By advocating for responsible alcohol consumption, the brewery hopes to foster a culture of moderation and mindf ulness, ensuring a positive and enjoyable holiday season for all. Source: The Namibia Press Agency