She said: “We are proud, as the Government of Namibia, to have presided over the creation of such an investment climate, particularly for the mining industry. Our commitment, as Government, to create a conducive investment climate, is unparalleled, and the inflow of major investment into the industry serves as testimony to the results of our deliberate efforts.”
Shilunga emphasised that the Namibian economy is heavily reliant on the mining industry, with the sector employing about 20 000 employees. “The sector’s contribution continues to grow immensely and the industry will play an amplified role in the economic and social growth of Namibia. It is against this background that Government takes an active role in supporting every initiative that seeks to address the development – and sustainability of the mining industry, particularly in the context of minerals education,” she said.
With reference to the theme of the conference, ‘Building Capacity for the Mineral Industry,’ Poly Rector, Tjama Tjivikua, said that as an academic institution, the Poly’s role of creating capacity for the various economic drivers cannot be overemphasised. “We are tasked with the mandate to bring innovation and create human and technical capacity for industry to grow,” he said.
He added that the Poly’s goal is to be home to the leading minerals education and research hub in the region and requested the support of SOMP in realising this vision. The Poly has invested in excess of N$200million in a new state-of-the-art building for architecture and spatial planning as well as minerals education and continues to invest heavily in laboratory equipment and technology, some of which will be exclusive only to the Poly within the region.
“Mining is pivotal to the Namibian economy and strengthening minerals education is a plausible route to achieving sustainable human capital development as espoused in the National Development Agenda,” Tjivikua said.