HENTIES BAY, 28 MAR – Namibia on Wednesday became the second African country, after South Africa, to join the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR).
SCOR President Dr Marie Alexandrine Sicre made the announcement at the University of Namibia’s Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre (SANUMARC) in Henties Bay.
The committee brings together ocean scientists from across the world, through a variety of mechanisms, to advance ocean science and overcome barriers to understanding the ocean.
Sicre, who runs the secretariat office from the University of Delaware in the United States of America, said being a member of the committee, Namibia will benefit from SCOR resources, networking and partnerships.
She said SCOR membership has thus far been dominant in Europe, America, China and Canada.
In recent years, they have been paying more attention to involving regions that are developing to enhance their marine activities, which includes Namibia.
“We hope as a new member Namibia will contribute to SCOR activities and also contribute to expanding the SCOR network in Africa,” Sicre said.
SANUMARC Director Dr Sam Mafwila said the event is cause for celebration for Namibia, because it will enhance the country’s oceanic research capacity.
Elaborating on his statement, UNAM’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, Professor Kenneth Matengu said increased research capacity will enable the country to understand the ocean better and take advantage of the blue economy.
“The research we carry out at this centre is not only for the centre, it benefits Namibia, Africa and the globe,” said Matengu.
Henties Bay Mayor Herman /Honeb said the community depends on fishing and research will help them to better understand how to take good care of the ocean.
“We will also learn which resources are available and how we can harvest and utilise it to improve our local economy.”
/Honeb also used the opportunity to ask the University of Namibia through the Sam Nujoma centre to be more actively involved in economic activities at the town.
“I think it is high time that we work together for capacity building and economic enhancement.”
The Sam Nujoma campus is a fully-fledged multidisciplinary research centre with the mandate to promote research and development activities in the field of marine science and coastal resources.
Research activities at the centre are geared towards developing the fisheries and agriculture sectors and further complement what is done by the ministries of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Agriculture, Water and Forestry.