Advanced skills development, aligned with Namibia’s Vision 2030 objective to be the hub-and-spokes logistics leader for the region, is part of the academic focus at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
According to Emilia Salomo, a lecturer from the Faculty of Management Sciences, the university introduced its first programme for the freight industry little over a decade ago, but has made significant strides in equipping tomorrow’s logistics professionals with the necessary abilities.
Speaking at the 13th Annual Logistics and Transport Workshop, she said preparing for 2030 had dominated planning at the NUST to help meet future goals.
“What planning around Vision 2030 has revealed is lack of skills, especially in this space.”
Academics were aware, Salomo said, that issuing qualifications worth mortarboard tossing would require coming up with fit-for-purpose programmes.
“From an international point of view, they are trying to ready themselves to equip students not just with the skills required from a government point of view, but to make sure that students are capable of adhering to international practice standards for the industry.”
Whereas understanding the background of procurement, supply chain and logistics from a Namibian perspective is important, NUST knows that its lecturers need to be aligned with international practices and processes.
“Our main focus is very much about industrial needs and equipping our students so that graduating ten years from now, the skills they have attained are still relevant to the industry and where the trends are taking us.”
Part of a panel discussion concentrating on procurement, Salomo added that a big part of NUST’s training was not just understanding the procurement process, but also applying acquisition methods aimed at achieving developmental goals.
In addition, elements such as ICT, big data analytics and contract management all form part of instilling in students a sense of future professionalisation.