Unam to boost infrastructure from N$19,5b

Simon Namesho

University of Namibia (Unam) vice chancellor Kenneth Matengu signed an agreement facilitating access to 970 million euros (N$19,5 billion) in funding for African universities on 11 April.

Unam spokesperson Simon Namesho says the funding will enable the university to expand its academic offerings and infrastructure, particularly in areas that align with the initiative’s focus on enhancing mobility and skill development.

“Expected projects may include the development of new master’s and PhD programmes, enhancing existing programmes, and creating partnerships with other African and European universities,” he says, adding that these projects will specifically target areas such as digital and green technologies, which are crucial for the continent’s future.

Namesho says the initiative will support the mobility of Unam students and staff, fostering an exchange of knowledge and cultural experiences, and enhancing the university’s international profile.

He says the initiative will incorporate a variety of measures to ensure effective skill development, including aligning academic curricula with current market needs and future job trends in green and digital sectors.

“There will be a strong emphasis on practical training and internships to complement theoretical learning, as well as partnerships with industry stakeholders, which are crucial in providing students with real-world experience and insights,” he says. Namesho says strategies include upgrading infrastructure, adopting international practices in higher education, and fostering a welcoming environment for international students.

“Marketing and partnership efforts will highlight the unique opportunities available in Africa, such as studying in diverse cultural settings, accessing unique natural resources for research, and engaging with fast-growing economies,” he says.

This was confirmed in a statement released by the European Commission and the Pan-African University. “The undersigned, representing the European Commission and the Pan-African University, are pleased to confirm their intent to work together under the Youth Mobility for Africa Flagship Initiative,” the statement reads.

This funding, available through competitive bidding, supports projects including the Erasmus and Intra-Africa mobility schemes.

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