Unam partners with the best

30 March 2017 | Local News

Cardiff University in Wales has committed itself to an transformative project to improve health and reduce poverty in Namibia. The university confirmed that it will fund the Phoenix Project, which works 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 during a visit to Namibia.

Phoenix collaborates 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.

Riordan said that working with colleagues at the University of Namibia, the Phoenix Project is making a real impact in Namibia and has achieved a lot in a short space of time. “It is therefore a pleasure to announce our commitment and support of the project until at least in 2022. I am 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.”

Hall said that the huge commitment of Cardiff University and Unam to the Phoenix project allows everyone to achieve great things together. “We are all working to improve the lives of Namibians in different ways, whether that is 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 Unam colleagues and we will work flat out to build on what has been achieved so far.”

UNAM pro-vice chancellor for research, innovation and development, Professor Kenneth Matengu said the extension of the Phoenix project for the next five years gives the opportunity to consolidate the work they started 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.”

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