31 Jul 2018 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 31 JUL (NAMPA) The University of Namibias (UNAM) outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula, will go down in history as one of the countrys strongest academic pillars, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba said Monday.
Speaking at a farewell dinner held in Hangulas honour, Pohamba said UNAM had grown tremendously under his watch.
He thanked Hangula for his service to the university and to Namibia.
I must however state that the achievement credited to Professor Hangula did not come easily, but through determination and visionary leadership, he said.
Pohamba pointed to the establishment of the institutions School of Medicine as one of the difficult periods Hangula and his staff endured.
It was under Hangulas watch that UNAM grew from a single campus to 12 campuses nationwide, Pohamba said.
Echoing similar sentiments was founding UNAM Chancellor and former President Sam Nujoma, who said even in the midst of pessimism and critique, Hangula was not deterred in his vision for the university.
In some cases, even from our own government officials, who could not see the long-term national development significance of the academic programmes being put in place, Nujoma said in a statement read on his behalf.
Today, those who opposed the programmes are celebrating Namibia producing its own medical doctors, pharmacists, professional engineers and agriculturalists, he added.
Nujoma attributed the resistance to Hangulas vision for UNAM to ignorance or perceived high costs that government could suffer in establishing those programmes, but was also quick to note that quality education is costly.
Even if we do not take bold decisions and implement them now, even in a phased approach, the country will never be able to do so in the future as costs will be even higher, he said, adding that Namibia will continue to be a net importer of specialised and unique skills forever.
Nujoma described Hangula as an honest and selfless servant of the people.
I appreciated Professor Hangulas inclusive participatory leadership, because many institutions in our country and many other African countries tend to cut themselves off from the public and government and conduct themselves as ivory towers, he said.
Professor Kenneth Matengu has been appointed as the new vice chancellor and will start serving in the position as from Wednesday.