WINDHOEK, 07 APR – Former Chancellor of the University of Namibia (UNAM), Hifikepunye Pohamba commended the university for the development of the national rice project at Kalimbeza in the Zambezi Region.
At the inauguration ceremony of Chancellor Nangolo Mbumba on Thursday, Pohamba said the project brought about rice farming in the Omusati and Oshana regions, where hundreds of households started cultivating and harvesting rice with scientific research support and assistance from the Ogongo campus.
“This project has demonstrated that through research, we can overcome the challenges facing the country and provide effective home grown solutions,” he said.
This project was jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and UNAM in 2007 and was declared a national project by Pohamba in 2009.
Pohamba also acknowledged UNAM’s involvement with the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the University of California in the national project to eradicate malaria in Namibia.
“Our university is fulfilling its mandate in terms of its enabling legislation, the University of Namibia Act of 1992,” Pohamba said.
Speaking at the same event, Founding Chancellor of UNAM, Sam Nujoma expressed concern over students that are being exploited by landlords, trying to make profit from the fact that the university cannot house most of its students.
He stressed that a large number of students stay very far from the main campus under very poor living conditions, walking long distances to and from the campus.
Therefore, the need for expansion of basic infrastructure at the university cannot be over-emphasised to enable the university to take care of the fast increasing number of students, Nujoma said.
He further highlighted that lecturers are still handling unacceptably large numbers of students.
“All of these challenges have to be looked at in a holistic manner within the framework of the country’s budgetary constraints,” Nujoma maintained.
He advised that UNAM develops higher standards by forging partnerships with the private sector and the banking industry.
Since the transformation of UNAM in 1992, the student enrolment stands at more than 25 000 students with 12 campuses in different parts of the country.