President congratulates new graduates 

Nangolo Mbumba

It gives me pleasure to return to the //Kharas region, following the inauguration of the new

University of Namibia (Unam) southern campus in April 2023, to address this first 2024 graduation ceremony of the University of Namibia.

In April 2024, the University of Namibia will hold four more graduation ceremonies, at the Windhoek campuses, Rundu campus, Katima Mulilo campus, and the Northern region campuses, respectively. 

In this ‘Year of Expectations’, it is opportune for me to remind all of us about what is expected from each one of us in the education sector.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 in Paris in Article 26 (1) states the following, and I quote: “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.

Elementary education will be compulsory. Technical and professional education will be made generally available, and higher education will be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

Today, I am proud to say that Namibia has by and large complied with this United Nations declaration in that everyone has a right to education, primary and secondary education is free, and the majority of students at tertiary level are supported through government scholarships and loans. 

Moreover, in Namibia, education at all levels is widely available in all 14 regions, except for tertiary education, which we are still busy rolling out as resources permit.

Given this positive state of education in our youthful nation, I am proud today to extend heartfelt congratulations to our equally young graduands of the southern campus for a job well done. 

Today, I am proud to join their parents and families, the Unam fraternity, and the Namibian people in celebrating this significant milestone in the academic life journey of our graduates.

To reach the pinnacle of graduation is a testament to hard work, determination, and perseverance. It speaks to an innate desire in the committed student to excel and achieve academic success against all odds in his or her academic journey and personal life.

Given the wonderful results this morning, I am confident, that the University of Namibia will continue its efforts in increasing access to higher education by expanding quality infrastructure and facilities here at the southern campus.

I take note of the fact that for this year’s first graduation, Unam will see more than 4 450 students graduate countrywide. 

Today, here at the southern campus, we have 159 graduands, and we proudly celebrate with these achievers. 

However, although we are doing well nationally, more needs to be done to increase the numbers of graduands in the Hardap and //Kharas regions. In this context, I would like to strongly appeal to the parents, families, communities, educational officials and councillors to join hands and encourage more students from the southern regions so that we can increase their participation and success at the university level.

As a government we remain committed to the development and wellbeing of the youth in these areas, as well as nationally. Indeed, the government has lived up to the expectation of ensuring quality education for the youth to use as a tool to empower themselves to advance their lives.

The African Union has adopted education in 2024 under the theme ‘Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa’.

’This focus on education is informed by an existing high proportion of potential learners in Africa who are not enrolled in pre-primary, primary, secondary, or higher levels of education. 

Furthermore, the funding of education remains a challenge in Africa. Education has always been about partnerships. Therefore, I call upon our development partners, the private sector and civil society organisations to hold hands with the government and ensure that our educational institutions contribute towards the achievement of national and global education

goals and to build resilient, effective, as well as transformational strategies for quality and equitable education for all.

Dear graduands, your qualification from the University of Namibia should serve as a valuable asset in your future professional careers, and should enable you to competitively seize opportunities both nationally and internationally.

Namibia is on the brink of an energy revolution in the Green Hydrogen and recently discovered oil and gas sectors discoveries, which will all require well-qualified workers. Therefore, embrace these opportunities that lie ahead, and use your acquired knowledge, skills and values for the industrialisation of the Namibian economy.

What you have achieved is beyond a certificate or a degree. You have acquired a passport to the future, a key of opportunity that will enable you to open doors that were closed to your forbearers. 

You have been empowered to become agents of positive change in the 21st century. Agents who will drive Namibia’s development agenda to develop her resources for the benefit of all Namibian people. For that reason, go out there and seize the moment to become the architects of a united, peaceful and economically prosperous nation and people.

Congratulations, once more!

I thank you!

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