Cardiff, Unam sign MoU on collaboration

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The University of Cardiff has committed to continue its transformative project to improve health and reduce poverty in Namibia.

Cardiff University in Wales has confirmed it will fund the Phoenix Project, which works hand in hand with the University of Namibia (Unam), for a further five-year period, until at least 2022.

The announcement was made this week by Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan when on a visit to Namibia.

Phoenix collaborates closely with Unam on a wide range of activities involving education, health, communication and science, and supports the Welsh government’s Wales for Africa programme.

The impact of Phoenix has been recognised by senior members of the Namibian government such as Deputy Health and Social Services Minister Julieta Kavetuna, who personally asked project leader Professor Judith Hall to deliver specialist training for health professionals.

The project’s work now covers a broad range of more than 30 activities including: Providing specialist training for doctors, nurses and midwives; boosting mathematics knowledge among future scientists; supporting local languages; developing communities of software enthusiasts; saving lives following road accidents; boosting aspirations of young learners; improving study skills; boosting e-learning and improving human rights awareness.

Phoenix has also brought significant benefits to Wales, with Cardiff University staff and students, alongside professionals from other sectors, making the most of learning and development opportunities.

Professor Riordan said: “Working closely with our colleagues at the University of Namibia, Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project is making a real impact and has achieved a lot in a short space of time.

“It is therefore a pleasure for me to be able to announce that we will continue our commitment and support the project’s work until at least 2022.”
“I’m excited by the potential of this project and the benefits it will bring to the people of Namibia and Wales over the next five years,” he added.

Professor Hall said: “The huge commitment of Cardiff University and the University of Namibia to the Phoenix Project allows us to achieve great things together.

“We are all working to improve the lives of Namibians in so many different ways, whether that’s improving healthcare, supporting education or boosting aspirations among school age learners.

“We are currently discussing the project’s priorities for the next five years with our Unam colleagues and you can be assured we will be working flat out to build on what’s been achieved so far.”

Unam Pro-Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Development, Prof Kenneth Matengu said: “The extension of the Phoenix Project for the next five years gives us the opportunity to consolidate the work we begun three years ago.

“In the next five years we will focus more on three to four major themes with emphasis on poverty reduction, innovation and health promotion.”

“Higher education is only meaningful if it leads to real changes in people’s daily lives. Unam is positioning itself to ensure our programmes are leading to international competitiveness and self-reliance.  In Cardiff University, we have a reliable partner for Unam to assist our country to deliver on the SDG,” he added.

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