By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma, will be the patron of the First African Regional Science Fair (ESA-2006) to be held in Windhoek at the end of next month. This was announced in a statement by the organizing committee of the International for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology (IMLAST) organisation. “This event will be the first African regional science fair exposition to be held on the continent of Africa and is expected to attract between 600 to 700 participants from African countries and other countries such as China, Brazil, Mexico, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, America,” the statement said. The event was officially launched by the Prime Minister Nahas Angula in March this year. “Since then, the organizers have been making arrangements by inviting potential participants to exhibit at the fair, by holding workshops for teachers throughout the country where they were trained to teach learners how to do projects at the required standard for international exhibitions. The organizers have also received generous assistance from TOTAL South Africa, NamPower and ESKOM in South Africa),” it said. According to the press release it’s noteworthy that much of the assistance comes from South Africa, helping IMLAST to ensure that this African event will dispel some of the misconceptions which some non-Africans have about the continent. “ESA-2006 will contribute to the promotion of our country and should be viewed as a national event to which all Namibians can make a contribution. We can be friendly and helpful towards our guests as a way of advertising and promoting our country and its capital Windhoek as attractive destinations for all manner of events and tours. In addition, ESA-2006 will contribute to the inflow of money into the country,” said Raoul Matzopoulus in the release. He cited the presence of Arab delegations as providing Namibia with an opportunity for a new tourist market. “IMLAST, working with the Namibian Mathematics and Science Teachers Association (NAMSTA) hopes to use this event to promote our educational tourism programmes such as the Desert Rangers, Savannah Rangers, Marine Rangers and our Space School. These educational programmes pro-actively bring tourists to our country. Our international connections have enabled us to assist in the hosting of 24 Brigham Young University (Utah-USA) students who are participating in studies of the Ovahimba people,” he said. It must be realized that in spite of generous assistance the organizers still require resources to ensure that the event is a success. “Namibians can contribute towards the event in the following ways: the contribution of bedding for our visitors to ensure that they are comfortable and that we as Namibians care for them. Skorpion Zinc, in addition to sponsoring the Karas regional and national fairs will be donating approximately 300 blankets,” he said, and mentioned that people can also contribute money to help pay the participating fees of Namibians. He also encouraged Namibian companies wishing to promote themselves to do so by advertising on IMLAST’s website www.esa2006.org “We also request farmers and supermarkets to contribute meat or vegetables and fruit to be used to feed the visitors. Namibians should become more aware of all the processes leading up to an exhibition such as this. If a greater awareness of these programmes can be engendered, a new perception as to how this country can achieve its national objective of Vision 2030, will be realized,” the statement said.