17 Apr 2015 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 17 APR (NAMPA) - Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Executive Director, Graham Hopwood says members of the Namibian and African fraternity are impoverished by the loss of senior research associate Professor Bill Lindeke.
Lindeke, who was also an IPPR Board member, passed away at his home in Windhoek on Thursday afternoon.
He had been seriously ill for several months, having been diagnosed with cancer in 2013.
Today we are grieving the loss of a dearly cherished friend and colleague, but we are also celebrating the many ways in which Lindeke enriched our lives, Hopwood said.
He said Lindeke had been a source of sage advice as an IPPR Board member for the best part of the last decade, and a highly committed research associate who helmed the Afrobarometer project through the last three national surveys.
Hopwood said he was a well-known and respected figure in the international research community, who was concerned with governance and democracy throughout the African continent.
Lindeke was an insightful commentator on politics in Namibia and internationally, often going out of his way to help journalists with articles and provide 'instant' analysis for broadcast media.
He saw the role of the academic as going far beyond the 'ivory towers' of higher education institutions and became a crucial resource person for civil society in Namibia, said Hopwood.
Although very ill since late 2014, he had continued to coordinate the IPPR's Afrobarometer project and courageously managed to present survey findings at public events, up until the end of February this year.
Until just a few weeks ago, he was still planning further Afrobarometer presentations at the University of Namibia and around the country.
He was a mentor for many young Namibians who studied political science and related subjects, both as a lecturer at the University of Namibia and as a source of advice and encouragement for individual students, he said.
Lindeke joined the Board of the IPPR in 2007 and was the national investigator for the Afrobarometer public opinion survey in Namibia.
Hopwood went on to say that over the past decade, Lindeke made an invaluable contribution to the development of the IPPR as the leading independent think tank in Namibia and a respected institution across Africa and internationally.
He had an extensive academic career holding professorships in Political Science and Political Studies at the University of Namibia and University of Massachusetts Lowell in the United States of America.
He also taught at the Polytechnic of Namibia, Boston University Metropolitan College (USA), University of Portland (Oregon, USA), Oregon State University (Corvallis, USA), and University of California (Irvine, USA).
He had over 40 years experience of university level teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Lindeke gained his Doctorate of Philosophy in Government at Claremont Graduate School in California in 1978 following the completion of a Masters Degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at San Diego State College in 1970 and 1968 respectively.
He first taught at the University of Namibia (UNAM) from 1991 to 1992 and returned to Namibia in 1999, initially as a senior lecturer at the Polytechnic of Namibia and from 2002 as a professor of political science at UNAM.
After his retirement from UNAM in 2006, he continued to assist students as an adjunct lecturer in political science at the institution.
Lindeke was also an incisive political commentator, often appearing on Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) television programmes such as Talk of the Nation.