ONGWEDIVA: President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Monday commended Oshana Region business icon Erastus Shapumba for his decision to initiate a programme that will complement Government efforts to expand access to education.
The Namibian Head of State commended the businessman, affectionately known as ‘Chico’, while speaking at the launch of the Erastus Shapumba Foundation, which took place at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF).
The programme is aimed at supporting less privileged students who are involved in fields such as accounting, engineering and sport.
“I commend Shapumba for his contribution to the advancement of education for our less privileged citizens,” said Pohamba.
He said that he has no doubt that as it meets Government halfway and offers educational opportunities, the foundation will have a positive impact on the lives of citizens who will go on to contribute to the social and economic development of the country.
“It is imperative that we continue to strengthen our education system as well as search for capacity in our country. This is the only way to build a world-class workforce, promote innovation and thereby, effectively compete in the modern knowledge-based economy,” he stated.
The President then urged the private sectors to fully support Government efforts to broaden access to education and to emulate the commendable example set by the Erastus Shapumba Foundation.
“Our government recognises the importance of increasing access to education for our young people, and highly values the contributions of all stakeholders in this vital area,” Pohamba stated.
He called on players in the private sector to establish bursary and scholarship programmes to provide funds to young Namibians as part of their social responsibility initiatives.
“This will go a long way towards training more of our citizens to become doctors, architects, engineers, pilots and many other professional fields. We need trained graduates to contribute to our nation’s social and economic development efforts,” he noted.
The 44-year-old Shapumba donated N.dollars 200 000 to the trust.
Cabinet members, captain of industry and members of the community attended the event, which was followed by the official opening of the OATF by President Pohamba. The trade fair kicked off on Friday and ends this Saturday.