In order to eliminate poverty from society, Namibia must reduce inequality, Higher Education Minister Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi urged.
The minister says sustainable economic growth and diversification, job creation and an improvement of service delivery should be pursued with a sense of urgency.
This objectives, she said, can be achieved through the contribution of higher institutions of learning in the country.
Kandjji-Murangi made the remarks on Friday when she officiated during the 20th spring graduation ceremony of the Polytechnic of Namibia where about 1 190 students received their qualifications.
The number of graduates amounts to a total of 2 455 graduates if added to the autumn graduation, which took place in April this year.
The minister congratulated the institution which is in the process of transforming to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) for adding fresh talent and skills to the Namibian job market.
She hence urged the university to embrace innovation, commercialisation, entrepreneurship and creation of economic values to boost the performance of the economy and the creation of jobs.
She said the commencement date of the NUST Act, which has been signed into law by President Hage Geingob recently and was subsequently gazetted on September 14, 2015 will be announced soon. The Minister highlighted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are critical for the country, following the approval of 17-goal programme on sustainable development by United Nations member States recently.
“Over the next 15 years, Namibia will have to ensure that our national developmental agenda and policy framework are geared to enable it to achieve the targets set for the SDGs,” she said.
Further, she stated that a good start has already been done and it is encouraging that there is significant alignment between the priorities in the country’s national development programmes such as NDP 4, Vision 2030 and the SDGs on the other hand.
As to how higher education can play a role in the context of national and global imperatives, Kandjii-Murangi said there is a need to learn from best practices from other countries around the world.
She said the nation would like to see the new university become a centre of knowledge creation as well as management, scientific and technological innovations development, which will contribute to the country’s national competiveness, both in the private and public sectors.
“This is a mission worth supporting. I once again congratulate the Polytechnic of Namibia for achieving university status. The awarding of the new status has equally raised the expectations of the nation and thus we cannot disappoint the nation,” she noted.