By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Namibians cannot ignore the worldwide call for high rates of economic growth so as to improve the quality and standard of human living through education. This was the view of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), Vinson Hailulu, who spoke at the annual academic awards ceremony on Thursday of the Polytechnic of Namibia. “The history of education in Namibia is vivid and fresh in our memories. It was a system characterized by a high degree of inequity, poor quality and limited accessibility,” Hailulu told the students, parents and staff present at the occasion. The theme of the ceremony was ‘Innovation for a Knowledge-based Economy’. “Factors critical for economic growth in a country like Namibia are functional infrastructure, a market with sufficient absorption capacity and human capital – critical ingredients in oiling the economic wheel and machinery to deliver the desired results. This includes developing and cultivating a spirit and culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and thinking outside the box,” Hailulu said. According to him for an economy, industry or a firm to gain a competitive advantage position requires value addition. “In this respect the advent of science and technology has boosted many economies’ ability to achieve extra-ordinary financial, social and economic results, which in turn has contributed to the improvement of the living conditions of their people. For instance Japan, the second biggest economy in the world, has very limited raw materials with which it is endowed, yet it is a big role player in the global economy,” the CEO said. The answer for people to be competitive in the global economy is education and the acquiring of skills and talents to be used in the application of science and technology in adding value to products and services produced. “We cannot do it and achieve our goals without strengthening our ability to apply science and technology. I am referring to the realization of Vision 2030, the economic growth rate of the country at bout 7% annually. The role of the Polytechnic of Namibia in educating the people of this country had been significant and remarkable. The institution has over the years grown in strength,” he said, also giving an overview of achievements of the academic institution of which he’s been a council member from the outset 12 years ago. A total of fifty best performance awards were handed out in various courses at the Polytechnic.
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