Unam to Establish IT Faculty

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By William J. Mbangula Oshakati The University of Namibia (Unam) is to establish a faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at its Northern Campus to be located at Ongwediva. President Hifikepunye Pohamba welcomed the university’s decision to set up the faculty in the North. “I wish to thank the Unam Council through you, the Chairman of the Council, and the Vice Chancellor, for your visionary leadership and foresightedness.” The Head of State was speaking at the 9th graduation ceremony of the Northern Campus, which was held at the Ongwediva Trade Fair Centre on Thursday, April 27. “We are fully aware that our country cannot achieve its development goals if it does not have trained professionals who can serve as catalysts for social development. It is also true that we cannot perpetually depend on foreign experts to address our development needs. We must, therefore, strengthen the capacity of Unam and other tertiary institutions to train local experts and thereby facilitate the speedy implementation of our developmental goals and priorities,” said the President. He thanked the Ongwediva Town Council for offering land to Unam, on which it can build the facilities for the new Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. “This is a tangible sign of smart partnership for development. I also wish to express my deep appreciation to the Government of India, which has expressed its intention to assist in the establishment of the new Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology by providing technical and material support.” Another important partner in this initiative, noted the President, is the University of Indiana in the United States of America, which has offered to assist and work closely with Unam in this endeavour. He was happy to note that two officials from Indiana University, namely Associate Professor Tim Diemer who is the Director of International Services, and Professor Oner Yurtseven, the Dean of School of Engineering and Technology, were present at the graduation ceremony at Ongwediva. “We welcome you wholeheartedly and we appreciate your good intentions to support and collaborate with Unam,” he told the visitors. The Head of State was further encouraged by Unam’s visible continuous contribution towards human resource development and capacity building for young people. The establishment of research facilities and the expansion of tertiary education institutions must be encouraged, the President stressed, because it will go a long way in improving human resources capacity for the successful realization of the national development agenda through priorities such as the National Development Plans and Vision 2030. Speaking directly to the graduates, the President urged them to show commitment and dedication to the process of nation building. “You should become exemplary ambassadors of Unam by serving as catalysts for positive change in your communities and our society at large. You should put to good use the knowledge and skills that you have acquired during your training at Unam. You must remember that with the dawn of independence we have become the masters of our own destiny, the architects of our country’s future and its socio-economic development. This is the challenge you must accept and carry out with dedication and commitment because the future of the Land of the Brave is in your hands.” According to the Unam Vice Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula a total of 333 candidates graduated, four of them with certificates, 295 with Diplomas or Advanced Diplomas, 32 with Bachelors degrees and three with Masters degrees. Fanny Kaholongo, who obtained a Diploma in Comprehensive Nursing and Midwifery Science from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, was the overall best final year student and also a recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Medal. The qualifications were conferred by the Chancellor of Unam Dr Sam Nujoma, who lauded the graduates’ hard work and dedication to the standards of excellence as having brought honours not only to themselves, their parents and guardians but also to Unam and the country as a whole. “I, therefore, call upon you, the graduates, to further develop your intellectual potential to the highest level possible in order to enhance your understanding of the various concepts needed towards community service.”

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