Japan invest in education exchange for Namibia


WINDHOEK: The Japanese government has invested in the enhancement of academic exchange between Namibia and Japan as one of its mid-long-term drivers for strengthening bilateral relations.

Speaking at a celebratory ceremony of the 26 Namibian beneficiaries of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) here Wednesday, Japan Ambassador to Namibia, Hisao Nishimaki said the scholarship is a dedication and commitment to the education sector of Namibia aimed at unlocking the different development sector and potential that is locked within Namibia.

Nishimaki explained that MEXT is a fully funded Japanese government scholarship which provides research programmes and teacher training for international students including Namibian students who wish to study at Japanese universities.

He noted that the scholarship has mostly funded students for their PhD studies in key development areas such as agriculture science, applied chemistry and chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mar
ine resources, energy and mathematics education, amongst others.

‘These areas are found to be key to Namibia’s development agenda as indicated in the Namibia Development Plans (NDPs) and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) 1 and 2 as well as the Vision 2030,’ he noted.

One of the first scholarship’s beneficiaries, Pamwenafye Nanhapo, a senior lecturer on crop science at the University of Namibia (UNAM) Ogongo campus in the Omusati region currently trains students on rice production and has developed a three-hectare rice production unit producing two tonnes of rice called ‘Ogongo rice.’

Nanhapo said he wishes to assist in the rice production at the Kalimbeza rice project in Katima Mulilo, considering the drought conditions in Namibia.

At the same event, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Natalia Goagoses, said for the young Namibian government to foster development it is imperative to educate the nation, however, the government alone cannot achieve the goal within the desired time
frame, therefore strategic partnership is required to cultivate collaboration in the education sector to equip the citizens.

‘If our people are allowed to study and be empowered we will see many more individuals impacting the lives of Namibians by having already put the knowledge and skills into practice,’ she noted.

Namibia, she said, is equally affected by climate change and if the country does not receive rain anytime soon it will have an impact on the shortage of food, therefore, knowledge and skills received through the Japanese government, especially on crop production, such as rice production will assist the nation in food security.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

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