EMU, Namibia meet, discuss partnerships


Eastern Michigan University hosted Namibian ambassador Martin Andjaba at a working luncheon on Aug. 16. The meeting focused on the discussion of prospective academic partnerships and exchange programs between EMU and the University of Namibia.

The Republic of Namibia, which is the 34th largest country in the world, is located along the South Atlantic coast of Africa.

“The University of Namibia is in need of professors,” Andjaba said. “The fields of science, math and technology are understaffed in terms of qualified lecturers.”

He said development is based on knowledge.

“The government of Namibia has continued to invest the largest share of the budget to this sector. Twenty percent of the national budget goes to education,” Andjaba said.

“Until the late 1980s the majority of college students in Namibia were white,” Andjaba said. “Native Namibians were usually not allowed to study law, medicine or other sciences, which is why the Namibian government has invested so much to close the education gap.”

Andjaba has held different positions of service since Namibia declared its independence in 1990. He is currently the Ambassador of Namibia to the United States, a position he has held since September 2010. He became Namibia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in 1996 and twice held the office of president of the security council.

EMU President Susan Martin, who delivered the welcoming remarks, said the visit showed promise of building bonds and further working together.

“The visit had momentum and could form ideas and spark partnerships,” Martin said.

Andjaba said he was tasked with finding professors for the University of Namibia after the president of Namibia was made aware of the situation.

“When a request for educators reaches the desk of the head of state, it is a problem that requires an immediate solution,” he said.

“There is a need for scholarships by some Namibians also,” Andjaba said. “Eastern’s scholarships, both short term and long term, would assist prospective students with options in attaining a higher education.”

Namibia commercial counselor of trade and industry, Freddie Gaoseb, said the luncheon carried the clear message that Namibia needs professors in the identified fields of study. More definite solutions and plans between EMU and the Namibian representatives took place in a meeting following the luncheon.

The Ambassador of Botswana, Tebelelo Seretse, was scheduled to attend the luncheon, but was not able to because of flight complications.

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