The International University of Management (IUM) last Friday conferred honorary degrees on several business people at a special conferral ceremony in Windhoek.
An IUM honorary degree is its highest honour is aimed at recognising outstanding role models and leaders and celebrating extraordinary achievements and exemplary service to society.
At the event Dr David Namwandi, the chairperson of IUM, said the private university was conferring honorary doctorate degrees to promote good ethics, entrepreneurship, innovation and transparency among Namibian businesspeople. “While there are many in our society who choose to focus on negativity and what is lacking in Namibia, we have consciously chosen to focus on positivity and what Namibia can achieve through its people and its own resources,” Namwandi said.
“We have to learn to appreciate what we have, rather than always looking at other countries under the illusion that they are better than we are or they have more than we have. Our salvation lies in our own people. We shall build our future on what we have, not what we don’t have,” he said.
“In choosing this year’s special honorary candidates, we were impressed by the creative and strategic talent shown by these individuals who have had the courage to demonstrate what can be done in our society,” he noted.
“The three individuals in their different ways have shown us that the richest resource of Namibia is not the minerals that lie in the ground, nor the fishery resources in the Atlantic Ocean, or the livestock which we are all proud to own, but the richest resource are the human resources,” stressed the IUM chairman.
“The human minds of the men and women of this country can and will take this country to the highest level of development as pronounced in our Vision 2030, Five Year Development Plan and the recently unveiled Harambee Prosperity Plan. Our social responsibility as a university is to work together with such talented minds,” Namwandi explained.
At the special ceremony that was graced by the founding president, Dr Sam Nujoma and other dignitaries, IUM conferred honorary doctoral degrees on Twapewa Kadhikwa, Banda Shilimela and on Erastus Shapumba.
To the three recipients of honorary degrees, the IUM founder said: “It is our sincere hope and prayer that you continue doing the right things and nothing else, but creating wealth in a clean and ethical manner with a high degree of integrity, so that you continue to serve as role models in our society. If you were to ask me, I would say you have no better persons to emulate than the founding president of our country, Dr Sam Nujoma, as well as the current president, Dr Hage Geingob, who are outstanding role models in this regard.”
Nujoma said he is proud of his close association and contribution to the establishment of the privately-owned IUM, which the founding president inaugurated in 2002.
“As a milestone of the higher education system of Namibia, today IUM is following international practice in the award of honorary doctorates,” Nujoma noted.
Virginia Namwandi, the vice chancellor of IUM, said: “It is a special occasion because IUM has recognised the accomplishments of three Namibian entrepreneurs who have made indelible marks in the private sector.”
“This event is even more special because of the presence of a very extraordinarily and special person: a man who has never wavered; a man who does not waver; and a man who will never waver in his commitment to education, entrepreneurship, as well as the socio-economic development and wellbeing of all citizens of the Republic of Namibia and Africa in general,” she said in reference to Nujoma.
She said IUM has grown and continues to grow in terms of infrastructural development, the provision of facilities and equipment; expansion in the number of its campuses; expansion in the provision of various qualifications, as well as its student population and collaboration with other universities.