Namibia: Expansion of the University of Namibia (UNAM) Katima Mulilo Campus of Wildlife Management and Ecotourism launched!
About 43% of the land of Namibia is designated as protected area. This demonstrates the importance the government of Namibia places on sustainable use of its natural resources. The protection of its unique biodiversity and fragile ecosystems is crucial for two key sectors of Namibia´s economy: agriculture and tourism. As a consequence, Namibia is following a strategy of developing trans-border conservation areas (TFCA) in cooperation with its neighbouring SADC countries since 1999. Namibia follows these strategies because wildlife is constantly migrating across the political borders. However, more important for the government is the stimulation of the economy and socio-economic development of remote border regions in accordance with its national strategies "Vision 2030" and the National Development Plan. Currently, about 900 positions in conservation at higher management level in public institutions and the private sector are not filled in the SADC region with sufficiently qualified staff. In Namibia, about 500 qualified employees are needed in the conservation sector. Therefore, the University of Namibia (UNAM) has established a Department of Wildlife Management and Ecotourism (DWME) at the University of Namibia in the Katima Mulilo Campus under the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR). The German government represented by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the DWME in this Project with EUR 10 million grant through German Financial Cooperation.
The extension of the Katima Mulilo Campus of the University of Namibia (UNAM) has to been seen in the scope of the overall enlargement strategy of UNAM and will serve to enlarge the campus' physical and educational capacities to provide expertise in the management of natural resources and ecotourism in Namibia as well as in the region.
As a result, UNAM shall contribute to Namibia's rural economic development by using the natural resources - for the tourism sector and other economic purposes- in a sustainable way and conserving the variety of the specific flora and fauna in the region.
PEM CONSULT has been awarded the project together with its partners Applicatio (Germany), Deon Pretorius Architects and Namibian Nature Foundation (both from Windhoek, Namibia) in December 2017. It combines two pillars in one consistent concept:
- Component 1 encompasses the design and construction of the physical enlargement of the Katima Mulilo Campus,
- Component 2 contains consultancy and assistance for the development and implementation of related study programmes on the BSc Hons, MSc and PhD level and for the enhancement of the Campus' management, marketing and stakeholder management capacities.
In correspondence with the study contents, the new buildings will incorporate technologies and an appearance that consider a balance of usability, ecological soundness, energy efficiency and convenience for male and female teachers and students and that match with the surrounding landscape and with the existing parts of the campus. The Consortium led by PEM CONSULT has provided an innovative architectural concept and won the 1st prize in the Architectural Competition that was part of the tendering process.
In January 2018 we started the project implementation with a planning workshop on the activities of Component 2 in Windhoek and Katima Mulilo as well as coordination meetings with German and European Universities intending to cooperate with UNAM in the field of natural Resource and Wildlife Management and Ecotourism.