“Non-performers are killing the Namibian economy. We cannot get out of this morass if we are not committed. You cannot always complain. Ask yourself, what am I doing for Namibia?” Tjivikua said. He further called on government to drive the economy with a benevolent dictatorship approach, whilst at the same time upholding the principles of democracy.
Theme of the year
According to a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by technologies that are blurring the divide among the physical, digital and biological spheres, such as artificial intelligence and robotics. However, these developments have sparked concerns on how to embrace the changes and at the same time create new opportunities. It is against this background that the Institution’s theme for the 2019 Academic Year is ‘Catalysing Youth Empowerment for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.’
“We must not see machines as a threat. We must reinvent our economies to create new jobs and embrace this revolution,” remarked Tjivikua.
Mandela Kapere, the Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Council of Namibia was one of the speakers at the event and he shared similar sentiments with the Vice-Chancellor. “We need to develop a breadth of skills, more than just functional literacy, numeracy and general knowledge. These must extend to cognitive, creative and emotional skills, particularly problem-solving and collaboration,” he said.
The role universities play
“The role of a university to create a more equal society is fundamental. We really have to focus on bringing underrepresented students into the system,” said Prof Ahmed Bawa, the CEO of Universities South Africa (USAf), who delivered the keynote address at the event.
Prof Bawa gave insight into the various roles universities play in shaping the way humanity engages the future. “It is pivotal for tertiary education institutions to produce new knowledge. Producing graduates is not enough. Graduates must leave a university as wholesome citizens who are ready to play their part in nation building,” he added.