Land reserved for marine school

WALVIS BAY

06 July 2018 | Education

Leandrea Louw

A portion of land in Walvis Bay has been reserved for the University of Namibia (Unam) to establish a school of Marine Engineering and Marine Studies.

The erf is situated at the edge of the new port extension, in the vicinity of Independence Beach, Kuisebmond. The municipal council will however only consider the final consideration of the application after Unam along with the assistance of the Town Planning Section attend to the necessary town planning matters.

According to Samson Nghilumbwa, chairperson of the management committee, a delegation from Unam presented a development proposal for a Maritime University Campus to the municipal council in February this year.

“Unam expressed the need for such facilities in Namibia and during these informal discussions, various development zones were identified as possible sites for the establishment of such a campus. The envisaged school of marine engineering will be part of the faculty of engineering and information technology. The proposed school will train professionals such as marine and naval engineers and mechanical engineers.”

Unam also aims to seek and form partnerships with reputable academic institutions worldwide in order to provide and present internationally recognised quality maritime study programmes. Partnerships with the World Maritime University in Sweden, the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology in Japan, the University of Bergen and the University of Tromso in Norway, and the University of Bremen in Germany have already been identified.

“The need for recognized and fully fledged tertiary academic institutions for Walvis Bay has been propagated for a long time. Economic and socio-economic advantages of such an institution will be significant for Walvis Bay and its broader community.”

In May, Unam held a stakeholder conference on the establishment of the school. Speaking at the event, Bernard Esau, minister of fisheries and resources, said that Namibia needs to invest in human resource capacity development.

“Currently Namibia relies heavily on expatriates in the marine and maritime engineering sectors, which I feel is unsuitable. Skills development in the blue economy sectors is the needed catalyst to drive national development agendas especially in expanding manufacturing and value-addition industries.”

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