WINDHOEK, JULY 16 – The outgoing UNAM Vice-Chancellor is receiving an honorary fellowship from a UK university in recognition of his illustrious career and support of a transformative project. Professor Lazarus Hangula will be awarded the honour by Cardiff University at a ceremony in Wales today (Monday 16 July 2018).
Cardiff University works closely with UNAM as part of the successful Phoenix Project, which seeks to reduce poverty, promote health and produce a sustainable environment. Cardiff awards honorary fellowships to those who have achieved international distinction in their field.
A special lunch to celebrate the occasion will be held in Cardiff for Professor Hangula attended by the UK High Commissioner to Namibia, Kate Airey OBE, and the Namibian High Commissioner to the UK, Steve Vemunavi Katjiuanjo.
Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, has been a strong supporter of the Phoenix Project’s work.
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said: “We are proud to be able to support and encourage more people to get involved in collaborative projects through our Wales for Africa programme. Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project is a tremendous example of such work.
“Some of the exceptional work that the Phoenix Project has done over the last few years has helped the University of Namibia drive up standards and has delivered some excellent results in health, computer programming and maths. The results could not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of Professor Hangula.”
Modestly accepting the award, Professor Lazarus Hangula, said: “I feel very honoured to have been selected to enter the pantheon of honour of your highly rated and celebrated academic institution – Cardiff University – as one of her first Namibian fellows.”
He said: “I wish to dedicate it to a long lasting UNAM-Cardiff University friendship, especially to the industrious hands and tireless efforts of the members of the Phoenix Project who have succeeded in building a strong human chain of friendship between our two institutions and between Wales and Namibia.”
Cardiff University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen Holford, said that Professor Hangula had demonstrated an “unwavering commitment and passion to education”.
She said: “As Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia, Professor Hangula has overseen significant expansion of the organisation and has implemented a number of positive changes that have made the university such a wonderful place to work and study.
“The relationships he has forged with higher education institutions outside Africa have increased the profile of the university tremendously and have unlocked a wealth of opportunities for students from all over the world.”
Professor Judith Hall of Cardiff University, who leads the Phoenix Project, said: “Cardiff University and UNAM have been able to deliver significant improvements to the quality of life of people in Namibia and Wales and none of it would have been possible without the backing of this brilliant scholar, educator and human being.
“I am extremely grateful to Professor Hangula for his continued support and his belief in the partnership between our two great universities and countries.”
Professor Hangula, who has been UNAM Vice-Chancellor for 14 years, is stepping down from the post and will be succeeded by Professor Kenneth Matengu on 1 August this year.
The Phoenix Project has made a major impact since its official launch by Mr Jones in 2014, creating more than 30 major work packages with external funding of over £1m secured.
Highlights include: Transforming anaesthesia in Namibia by training the country’s first ever professional anaesthetists; Launching major and successful road safety initiatives in Namibia, a country with some of the worst road safety statistics in the world; Developing an open source software writing community in the country, which has spawned others in Africa; and Supporting and developing Namibia’s multilingual communities.