The privately owned International University of Management (IUM) continues to grow in leaps and bounds as could be attested by the opening of its new campus that cost IUM N$24 million in Nkurenkuru in Kavango West, making it the largest investment from a private local institution.
Kavango West Regional Governor Sirkka Ausiku was full of praise for IUM management for bringing much needed development to the region when there are cost-cuts and general stagnation in the economy.
Ausiku said the new IUM campus which she officially opened on Tuesday symbolises the future and growth of Kavango West Region and in particular the newly proclaimed town of Nkurenkuru.
“Our citizens and communities will no longer have to travel long distances to search for university education and training. IUM responded to our call and brought unhesitatingly its facilities to us when others are still pondering and wavering,” Ausiku said.
On April 29, 2015 IUM opened a transitional campus in Nkurenkuru in a rented facility and vowed at the time to ensure that construction of a new campus would start that year – and the institution kept its promise, as on September 8, 2015 IUM held a ground-breaking ceremony announcing the construction of the permanent campus and 20 months later the building has been completed and was inaugurated on Tuesday.
“It is my honour and privilege to stand here this morning to witness this very important event, the official opening of a state-of-the-art IUM Nkurenkuru campus. As a region we extend our warm arms of friendship and cooperation to investors and business people who have already come to our region and town and those planning to come to make Kavango West their regional home and base,” she said.
Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba was scheduled to officially open the campus but could not do so as he had travelled to Havana for the memorial service of Fidel Castro and thus delegated Peter Mwatile (permanent secretary in former President Pohamba’s office) to do it on his behalf.
“Before I read the statement of His Excellency the former President Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba, I should tell you that he asked me to tell you that he is not here today with you because of the sudden death of Fidel Castro and he said the death of Fidel Castro has gone all over the world including the entire Namibia, even in Nkurenkuru,” Mwatile said.
“He said my permanent secretary, I want you to go to Nkurenkuru while I join the people of Cuba to register our solidarity to mourn together a revolutionary leader who left us,” he added.
Dr David Namwandi the founder of IUM said IUM is a demand-driven university because most of the programmes that it offers are mostly a request from its stakeholders.
“The university certainly remains forever indebted to the government and people of this land as well as SADC and other African nations such as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and many more for their continued support and encouragement,” said Namwandi.
He said it has not been all smooth sailing for IUM to get to the stage where it is because “we have had rough times in the past and had it not been for the confidence that our clients had in us, this day would not have been a reality, hats off to you all,” said Namwandi.
This is the sixth IUM campus as the private institution of higher learning already has a footprint in Windhoek where it has its main campus at Dorado Park. It is also present in Ongwediva, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and beyond the country’s borders as it is offering its programmes at a university in Malawi and there are plans to export its programmes to South Africa, making it the first Namibia university to do so.
Namwandi has also appealed to parents in Kavango East and Kavango West, Zambezi and Otjozondjupa regions and those in southern Angola to make use of the new institution as this, he says, will save them on transport costs as it is located on their doorsteps.
The IUM Nkurenkuru campus was constructed at a cost of N$24 million and will accommodate 500 students. The construction was funded with a loan from Old Mutual Namibia.