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Inauguration of Nust Centre: Less Talk, More Action, Please

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries defines ‘inauguration’ as “a special ceremony at which a new public official or leader is introduced or a building or organisation is officially opened”.

Examples are a president’s inauguration or an inauguration speech.

The Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) was conceptualised in 2016 and concretised with the imminent visit of the former and late president of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, to Namibia, in December of that year to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

His concise visit to the university cemented the CEIT and magnified the India-Namibia relationship in education and technology.

We hosted him without splurging scarce resources on vain and ostentatious displays.

Subsequently, we have invested significant resources in the centre since 2017, from which time it has been offering an array of courses and certifications.

It is thus one of the transparent mysteries of 2023 why an operational centre would be ‘inaugurated’ at least six years (on 5 June 2023) after opening its doors for education to the public.

As if the former president’s engagement with Nust was for naught.

Let’s not be caught confounding showmanship or symbolism with achievement.

The pressing question is why a technological university is now struggling so hard to move on in defining and executing its strategic role as an innovation driver at the next level, or, sadly, degenerate.

The unsurprising answer lies in the quality of leadership: Is there the apposite knowledge, competence, vision and drive?

Or what could be the reason to sensor, deny, blot out or undo the legacies of trendsetters and history makers who created a gem?
A gem that is now facing precarious circumstances.

In such circumstances, one has to ask where and how the allocated resources are being expended and where the next educational evolution or technological revolution will originate from if it isn’t from a technological university.

A university is supposed to be a transformation agent for the high-minded serving society, not a comfort zone for freeloaders.
How else do you take the economy to the next stage?

Regrettably, the regression of Namibia’s development is reminiscent of the adage ‘One step forward, two steps back’.

It’s not the apposite way to uplift higher education and build a nation.

There are no more resources for wasteful symbolism.

Follow the lyrics: “A little less conversation, a little more action, please.”

Leaders can’t be a social burden!

Tjama Tjivikua, Founding Vice Chancellor, Nust