A first of its kind staff meeting was held in Windhoek from 4 to 5 July 2018 at the Regional Secretariat. All SASSCAL staff from the five SASSCAL countries converged in Windhoek for this meeting. The meeting was preceded by a staff seminar where the Executive Director Dr J Olwoch gave a presentation entitled Women in Science: Building a career in Science. Dr Olwoch drew from her own experiences and shared with her team of the bottlenecks that girl children face from the time they start school until university level. She acknowledged the importance of mentorship in assisting women build careers in science and pointed out that these become available at a rather late stage of career development. There is need for mentorship programmes from grassroot levels to cultivate and nurture science career development. Dr Olwoch identified some stereotypes related with women developing careers in science and dispelled them with proven experiences and documented studies. She noted that there is nothing stopping women from having it all; a career and a family. Interestingly, various studies have it that institutions led by women tend to perform better.
Dr Olwoch concluded her presentation by encouraging her team to always do their very best in whatever tasks they are presented with. She also emphasised the importance and need for continued personal development.
The presentation comes a month before the region commemorates Women’s day.
Day 2 of the meeting saw the staff getting more insight and information on the second SASSCAL Research phase SASSCAL 2.0 strategy from the Executive Director. There were presentations from the Director of Science and Technology Dr Joerg Helmschrot and the Director of Administration and Finance Ms Chipo Chirefu Toto of various internal topics. There were also various discussions by the staff on the presentations and other relevant topics.
The highlight of the meeting were the Employee Service Awards. SASSCAL acknowledges that its staff are its most valuable assets and as such aims to attract, retain and develop staff of the highest quality. SASSCAL provides an Intellectually stimulating and rewarding work environment that is conducive for staff to achieve personal growth and promote institutional performance. It is against this background that two staff members were recognised for their contribution to the development of the organisation. Ms Bianca Mutale the Personal Assistant to the Executive Director and Mr Nikanor Nakaleke the Liaison Officer are the longest serving SASSCAL employees. They both joined the organisation at the Regional Secretariat in June 2014. The awards were issued to acknowledge their dedication and commitment and the highest level of professionalism that they have applied and continue to exercise towards their work and profession.
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