UNAM Professor Scoops top Leadership Award

Prof Mwandemele receiving the African Education Leadership Award

He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it. To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your dream is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” James Allen

The NEPAD-SANBio would like to congratulate the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Namibia, Prof Osmund Damian Mwandemele, who was awarded the African Education Leadership Award 2015 on the 9th of December 2015 in Mauritius. The University of Namibia is the host of NEPAD-SANBio Mushroom Node.

The Leadership Awards of the highest stature were presented to individuals and institutions who have surpassed several levels of excellence and set an example of Exemplary Leadership and being  role models. Awarded individuals have been building their Institutions through Leadership, Innovation, Academic and Industry Interface with the supreme objective of Building future leaders. The awardees have made a difference to the lives of others, contributing to positive social change.

“I thank the Almighty God for this humble recognition from ‘Africa Leadership Awards.’ It has inspired me to do even more for my university and the Namibian society and beyond, despite my advanced age,” said Prof Mwandemele.

Prof Mwandemele was recognised for his significant contribution to human resource capacity building in Namibia, not only at University level but also at national level, and his support for several community projects that have contributed to improved livelihoods and quality of lives of the people. For the past 9 years since he became Pro Vice-Chancellor, the university has grown from three campuses to twelve campuses spread throughout Namibia, thus improving access to quality higher education to the people, and bringing the university closer to the people and assisting them through community service programmes.

“I strongly believe that any university does not deserve the massive financial, material and moral support it receives from the society if it does not contribute towards catalyzing social economic development of the people it is expected to serve. In Africa, a university cannot afford to be an ivory tower amidst poverty. I believe that a university should be the engine for catalyzing socio-economic development and growth,” said Prof Mwandemele.

Prof O D Mwandemele has been serving as the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research of the University of Namibia since January 2007. Before that he was the Founding Director of the Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre (a UNU-INRA Operating Unit whose Board he chairs) at Henties Bay (2003-2006), Namibia, and Founding Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources (1995-May 2003) at the University of Namibia. He was Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the NEPAD-Southern Africa Network of Biosciences (SANBio) from 2005-2014, and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of South Africa (2008-May 2013), and also Chairman of the Steering Committee of SANBio/BioFISA programme, Finnish-Southern Africa Partnership Phase 1 Project (2008-2012). He is a member of Board of Directors of the NGO, Women Action for Development (WAD) in Namibia and also serves on the Advisory Council of the Eastern and Southern African Universities Research Programme (ESAURP). In May 2013 he was appointed by the Namibian Head of State to serve on a nine-member Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC).

Among the other Awardees were Ministers from a number of African Countries, Vice-Chancellors and Presidents/Rectors of Universities, as well as Chief Executive Officers of some public and private companies and other institutions.

NEPAD-SANBio extends its congratulations to Prof Osmund Mwandemele for his achievements and the Award.