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Phoenix Project

Cardiff and Namibia Universities working together?

30 April 2014

Is there a potential partnership between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia?

What are my impressions so far?

  1. Namibia is a young democracy where 10% of the people own 90% of the wealth: the people of Namibia want to solve this problem without violence.
  2. Namibia is a country of extreme rurality with one of the lowest population densities in the world.  There are only 10 trained Anaesthetists for a population of 2.3 million (we have 160 in Cardiff for a population of 300,000). Many people die travelling the huge distances to get to a trained Anaesthetist for their operation.
  3. Away from the massive farms owned by the minority and away from the tourist areas,  there are shanty towns, the legacy of apartheid and real poverty.

To combat these problems, Namibia has invested extensively in an impressive infrastructure. University of Namibia’s problem is a severe shortage of academic expertise: their problem is personnel.  Cardiff University could help with that.  It is very good to work with people who are working hard for themselves and University of Namibia is certainly doing that.  At the end of the visit I had a long meeting with the Vice Chancellor and his senior team to discuss the potential for this relationship.   There is certainly fertile ground for collaboration in the Biological and Physical Sciences, Humanities and Health.

Professor Judith Hall