During the event, Linda Aipinge, the Director of Information and Communication Technology Development in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, emphasised the need for the Ministry to collaborate with academia. Aipinge, who is also a NUST Council member and an alumna of the Institution, said such collaboration will ensure that the best laws and policies are implemented, in line with global trends.
Various topics were addressed and these included: Indigenous Knowledge in the Digital World; Application Admission Controls and Big Data Video Delivery; Alternatives to File System for Static Data Storage; Enhancing the Security Features of Automated Teller Machines (ATMS); Enhancing Reading Experiences of Indigenous Stories; and Cybercrimes, Security and Protection for Communities and Children.
In light of the ongoing economic challenges being faced in the country, the subject of research funding was discussed at length. Rennie Munyayi, a Projects Co-ordinator at the NUST Projects Services Unit, emphasised that in the wake of an unfavourable economic climate, staff and students need to pursue various funding streams beyond Namibia’s borders.
The Project Services Unit is responsible for facilitating the process of securing funds for research purposes.
A panel discussion on “Ethics in Community-University Engagements” highlighted some of the challenges and progress that Namibia is making in ensuring that communities are protected from unethical research practices.
Panelists described the responsibilities and concerns from the perspectives of the community, academia, the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the National Research Ethics Board.
Dr Anicia Peters, the Dean of the FCI, applauded the researchers for exceeding the Faculty’s set targets and conducting studies that have an impact in the community. Last year, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, a professor in the Faculty, achieved the singular honour of being adjudged the National Scientist of the Year 2016 and Researcher of the Year 2016 by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST).