NUST and Finnish university launch study on Nam logistics

16 Feb 2016 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 16 FEB (NAMPA) – The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) in Finland on Tuesday launched a three-year research project that will focus on transport and logistics activities at Namibian ports.
Namibia has two ports – Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
The project, titled ‘NamHub’, will be funded by the Government of Finland and other research partners in that country to the tune of Euro 100 000 (about N.dollars 1,7 million), Project Manager Minna Keinanen-Toivola said during the launch at the Finnish Embassy on Tuesday.
Keinanen-Toivola said the project is based on expansion of the ‘mega hub’ in Namibia for transport and logistics activities at ports and on roads and railway. The aim of the project is to form an ecosystem for providing products, services and capacity building in Namibia.
The project will involve partners such as SAMK with experts on maritime and logistics activities; the University of Oulu in Finland with experts in infrastructure design and implementation of the technology for construction periods; the Finnish Environment Institute on environmental risks, prevention and surveillance; and the Technical Research Centre of Finland with experts on low carbon solutions for transport and logistics.
“The specific solutions for products and services of the NamHub project are based on the analysis of the current situation and needs for transport and logistics in Namibia,” she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Finland’s Ambassador to Namibia, Anne Saloranta said the building of the ecosystem includes benchmarking and bringing in Finnish expertise to offer ‘green’, safe and smart infrastructure, and solutions to the growing need of Namibia as a regional transportation and logistics hub. Namibia is aiming to become a port of entry for landlocked Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries like Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The ambassador said the cooperation started in the marine sector between the Finnish and the Namibian counterparts, dating back to the Namibian Government's decision to procure a marine research vessel from Finland and the successful training programme that was attached to the purchase.
Saloranta said her embassy in Namibia is currently focusing on private sector development, encouraging business opportunities between the two countries.
“We are keen to offer our assistance to enhance trade and commercial contracts between our two countries. It is with that aim in mind that the embassy is currently supporting and has supported in the past few years the Walvis Bay Corridor Group with a project for Improved Service Delivery towards a Regional Logistics and Distribution Hub in Namibia for SADC,” she said.
Saloranta added that the concept of the study project builds on the NamUrban project that was launched in October 2015.
NUST in conjunction with SAMK from Finland last year launched a two-year research project, NamUrban, on urban resource efficiency in the country, while also focusing on housing, renewable energy and clean water in Namibia.
The project was financed by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland; SAMK; and nine Finnish companies.
The project has a total budget of Euro 440 000, estimated at N.dollars 7.7 million.
The launch of NamHub was attended by NUST Vice-Chancellor Tjama Tjivikua and Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Chief Samuel Ankama.