The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) has unleashed $N40 million (2.4 million Euro) worth of funding to establish the SASSCAL Graduate Studies Programme in Integrated Water Resource Management (SGSP – IWRM) implemented at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The SGSP – IWRM will constitute an innovative and excellent regional collaborative education and research programme at PhD degree level complemented by selected tailor-made short courses that are aimed at capacitating the decision makers and industry.
The SGSP – IWRM is an academic programme embedded in SASSCAL’s long term objective of building regional thematic Centres of Excellence within selected academic institutions across all SASSCAL Member States. The SGSP-IWRM was developed in response to a need for adequate human resources in water management and sciences particularly in SASSCAL countries and SADC in general.
The three-year PhD programmes is planned to officially kick off in September 2021 with 15 students to be enrolled at NUST until August 2024.
The funding programme has received commendation from the Office of the Vice President of Namibia, His Excellence Dr. Nangolo Mbumba. In his address during the inauguration of the NUST’s High-Tech Transfer Plaza Select (HTTPS), the Vice President pointed out the positive impact this commitment will bring into Namibia human capital skills base for its capability of creating potential top talent and competent workforce for the future.
Similarly during his key note address at the HTTPS Event, the Vice Chancellor of NUST, Dr. Erold Naomab affirmed the university’s commitment to ensure the success of the SGSP – IWRM pointing to it as of the top priorities of the university’ top priorities in the strategic agenda.
The SASSCAL Executive Director Dr. Jane Olwoch in her comment has hailed the bold move and in particular the strategic partnership that NUST EXCO and management has provided towards the establishment of the SGSP-IWRM. She says that “this programme has come at a time when the state of water resources in terms of availability and quality are of a critical concern for so many SADC Member States”. She also stressed that Climate Change, resultant droughts together with domestic, agricultural and industrial demands have worsened the vulnerability of the water sector in the region.
Dr. Olwoch further said that in order for the region to overcome these challenges, academic capacitation and development is one of the solutions that will bring forth a new level of thinking and sustainable scientific solutions. She says that the SGSP-IWRM is designed to build and breed a high calibre of scientists and engineers who will be able to come up with new information and technology to manage the water resources we have in a more sustainable manner.
“The SGSP is positioning itself to be such a Centre of excellence to offer such solutions. Furthermore, the world, Africa and our region are preparing themselves to embrace the new emission free fuel – Green Hydrogen, water is again at the centre stage of this journey. This partnership that SASSCAL has with NUST through the SGSP provides another advantage to support the Green Hydrogen Programme in Namibia and other SADC member states” emphasised Dr Olwoch. The Green Hydrogen Atlas, funded by BMBF and coordinated by SASSCAL in 12 Countries in SADC remains the benchmark upon which other Green Hydrogen projects should be implemented .
SASSCAL’s financing activities towards the SGSP-IWRM are backed up by the German Government through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the main funder of voluminous SASSCAL Programmes. The Namibia Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, which is SASSCAL’s line Ministry in the country has provided the political support needed for SASSCAL to succeed in its programmes .
For more information please contact SASSCAL communications.
Ms. Ester Nakanduungile
Communications and Marketing Officer