By Risco Lumamezi
Construction of a new state- of- the-art multi-million-dollar University of Namibia (UNAM Katima Mulilo Campus), opposite the banks of the Zambezi river is near completion.
This project includes lecturing buildings, laboratories, student hostel and accommodations of staff for the Department of Wildlife Management and Tourism Studies.
The project started off the ground in December 2021 and is anticipated to be inaugurated in May 2024.
The EUR 15 million (NAD 222 million) is a grant commissioned by German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) from the period of 2016 – 2026.
During their familiarisation tour to the site, University of Namibia’s Vice Chancellor , Prof. Kenneth Matengu expressed concerns to the visiting five (5) European ambassadors in Namibia, EU Ambassador to Namibia, Ms. Ana Beatriz Martins, Embassy of France, Ambassador Mr. Sébastien Minot, Embassy of Germany, Mr. Thorsten Hutter, Embassy of Spain Ambassador to Namibia, Mr. Alberto de la Calle, Embassy of Ireland, Ambassador to Zambia and Namibia, Ms. Bronagh Carr.
Prof. Matengu divulged that the sewer system of the Katima Mulilo town as a whole does not have capacity to absorb the current woes of water reticulation system for the entire residents.
He said that he was confident with the water reticulation system of the new campus, but he added that the campus will not be opened if the current problem is not addressed properly as once it is ignored will result to the disaster of sewer system as it will flood the university.
However, Mr. Thorsten Hutter, Germany Ambassador to Namibia assured that his embassy will take the issue with the Namibian government.
On behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, the KfW Development Bank, has injected funds for the extensions of the Katima Mulilo and Ongwediva campuses of the University of Namibia (UNAM) to address the shortage of specialists in the field of wildlife management and engineering in the SADC region.
It was therefore realised that the Department of Wildlife Management and Tourism in Katima Mulilo will provide fair access to natural resources and its sustainable management which contributes to the protection of biodiversity, functioning ecosystems and improvement of rural income. The graduates will be trained to become experts and employers by opening their business initiatives after completion of their academic studies.
Phase two of the project, supported the implementation of the curricula development for Bachelors and Masters, including quality of education and strengthening of applied research, practical and labor market orientation.
More than 120 students will be admitted, this will reduce an influx of students among the central and northern regions of Namibia , inorder to promote regional integration across Southern Africa region.
Apart from offering tertiary education for school leavers, the new state of the art infrastructures will benefit higher levels of education (MSc up to PhD level), and further qualification for employees at the universities and in the private and public sector.
The Katima Campus ‘s proximity as a university campus located in the get root of southern Africa region will grant benefits for training conservationists within the transfrontier KAZA protected area. This will however improve the current knowledge and capacity to sustainably manage the natural resources and, the improvement and maintenance of key infrastructures in Namibia.