NBS en route to solve the drought challenge in Namibia and the region

Drought has become one of the biggest slow-growing threats to Namibia and Southern Africa’s food security. However, this mammoth challenge is set to change with UNAM’s Namibia Business School (NBS) “Crystal Water” solution.

This continental solution comes days after the Namibia Business School idea was selected as one of Africa’s best business concepts at the Global Business School Network’s (GBSN) annual Africa Business Concept Challenge.

The GBSN Africa Business Concept Challenge facilitated a five-week-long competition in pursuit to find a viable business concept that can address locally prevalent problems. This challenge attracted a crowd of over 80 teams representing 34 institutions from across Africa all coveting for the top prize.

Leading the Namibian entourage of four and the brains behind the concept of Crystal Water, Franky Gonteb, explained that the idea was inspired by a desire to reduce the devastating impact of drought in Namibia.

“Namibia has battled the plight of drought for years and while waiting for rainy days, we saw our country’s agricultural output depreciate. Fortunately, with this new system, people can boost their agricultural yield without having to wait for the rainy season, they can simply modify their soil conditions by using our unique product” added Gonteb.

This exclusive business product rounded up the top five positions alongside the Botswana International University of Management.

The Lagos Business School from Nigeria grabbed first place and received USD5000 for designing an Aquatrac Sustainable Fish Consumption.  The same University also walked away with the second price for their Modular Housing Concept, whilst Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology from Ghana came third.

All top five contenders will receive mentorship from Africa’s biggest innovative network organisation, AfriLabs. AfriLabs’ stellar innovative leaders will provide each team with the necessary support to develop their solutions.

Team experience

The competition required the team members, Frank Gonteb, Angelo Kloppers, Jacobina Haiduwa and Bojelo Plaatjie-Dube, to engage in an intensive four-phased project development process, in which they had to spend long hours and late nights preparing for each phase.  They were guided through the intense process by faculty mentor, Katrina Simon-Agolory.

MBA Entrepreneurship student and team member, Angelo Kloppers admitted that being nervous was a big part of their experience.

“In the beginning, I was a bit intimidated when I saw that we were competing against teams from top African universities but as time progressed, we built up momentum strong enough to prove to ourselves that NBS can compete even with the best in Africa” said Kloppers.

Grafton Whyte, NBS Director, said, “Namibia Business School is proud to be a competitor in this inaugural event.  Having the Crystal Water Team make it to the final five product concepts was indeed a humbling experience,” remarked the proud Director.

The Crystal Water solution will be launched in 2022

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About the Author: Margareth-Rose Kangootui

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