The University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Kavango West Regional Council recently committed joint efforts and resources, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to achieve the region’s agricultural vision of becoming Namibia’s ‘food basket’ and promote its economic development.
This agreement stems from both institutions’ mutual objectives to elevate the region from multidimensional poverty, recover its economic status, and most crucially, boost Namibia’s agricultural output by utilizing the vast and fertile land and livestock resources of the region.
According to the Chief Regional Officer of the Kavango West Regional Council, Mpasi Haingura, while introducing the delegation of the region, the region suffers from the worst poverty in Namibia affecting the health, education and living standard of the people.
He added that this MoU will go a long way to impact these areas by “adding value to the basic commodities that make a difference in the living standards of the people, and advice relevant stakeholders to appropriately channel resources, to help elevate these areas”, said Haingura.
Other areas of collaboration include agro-enterprise development, urban and rural development, and resource, innovation, development and capacity building in all sectors.
Chairperson of the Kavango West Regional Council, Honourable Joseph Sikongo, remarked that the region is still growing and “needs the services and expertise of UNAM to assist with research on development projects in order to unlock the economic potential of the region and create employment for its inhabitants”.
He further added: “We can only grow as a region when our human resource is trained and continues to develop their capabilities to meet the changing demand of the world”, added Honourable Sikongo.
UNAM Vice Chancellor, Professor Kenneth Matengu, explained that UNAM exists to help train society to take advantage of the increase in knowledge.
“UNAM’s mandate is to produce competitive human resources for the country and in order to do so, we have to take into account what the regional endowments are and how we can support regional authorities to take advantage of those opportunities that exist”.
He further stated that this MoU is broad, crucial and that UNAM is ready to commit to the deliverables of the MoU.
Governor of the Kavango West Region, Honourable Sirrka Ausiku, lauded the efforts made towards the signing of this agreement and thanked all parties involved. She further stated that “with good investments, we can address poverty in the region, create jobs and ultimately make the region Namibia’s food basket”.
The University currently has similar agreements with the City of Windhoek and Oshana Regional Council.