WINDHOEK – As part of the activities lined up to celebrate its 20th anniversary the University of Namibia (Unam) this week focused on the work done by the Multi-Discipinary Research Centre since its creation in 1994.
The centre has produced 140 journal papers in 2011 alone, while between 2009 and 2011 it recorded a 55 percent increase in journal papers and a 13 percent increase in published books and book chapters, said the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, Professor Osmund Mwandemele.
The Kalimbeza Rice Project is one of the outstanding examples of a successful research-based project initiated by the Multi-Discipinary Research Centre.
Going forward the centre is looking to increase rsearch output in order to significantly contribute to socio-economic development.
“As outlined in Vision 2030 and the national developlent plans, particularly in the areas of health, food and nutrition, mining and fisheries, we will play our part in intensifying our reearch programmes in that regard,” said Mwandemele during a panel discussion focused on ‘Celebrating 20 years of excellence in Research and Innovatoin towards Development and Value Addition’.
Alfred van Kent, the Director of Research Science, Technology and Innovation in the Ministry of Educatoin, noted that the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) is unique compared to the previous three NDP’s due to its sole focus on interventions.
“What is relevant for us today is that NDP4 explicitly identifies the development of Namibia’s research and development capacity as a critical input. Government further commits to invest 0.3 percent of GDP in research and development by 2015,” said Van Kent.
Unam has engaged more than 70 active memoranda of understanding with other partners worldwide to support research and postgraduate research fellowships.
Most recently, the university decided to subscribe to the huge full-text and citation databases, ScienceDirect and Scopus for an initial three-year period. ScienceDirect is an online journal of published scientific research approaching 10 million articles from over 2 500 journals and 6 000 e-books.
Scopus is a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles. It covers 19 500 titles from over 5 000 international publishers.
Unam offers 36 undergraduate, 19 master’s and 12 doctoral degree programmes through eight faculties, nine academic centres and 11 campuses countrywide.