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Science university launches innovation youth café in Havana settlement

Science university launches innovation youth café in Havana settlement

By Clifton Movirongo.

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) continue to be a tower of strength to both academia and the communities, as the institution recently launched the Havana youth café to assist marginalised youth and cease the vicious cycle of youth unemployment.

The youth café which was officially set up on 15 December, is under the guidance of Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs Namibia) project and funded by the Embassy of Finland through the Funds for Local Cooperation financial backing instrument, with important co-financing from NUST.

The Faculty of Computing and Informatics at NUST, and specifically the Inclusive and Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub pledged to join forces with the project as the focus is placed on digital jobs and services.

During the launch, Acting Vice-Chancellor of NUST, Dr. Delvaline Möwes stressed that it is envisioned that the youth café shall be a safe space where “unemployed and marginalized youth can strive and be empowered.”

“NUST, as part of their community engagement efforts will support through training, inclusive innovation, technology access and development, in order for them to contribute to economic growth and social development of their communities,” said Möwes.

Officials from various institutions were in attendance of the event including the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Havana Primary School senior management, the youth café digital business partner – MTC, the University of Namibia senior management, and representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Officiating the launch was Funds for Local Cooperation Projects Coordinator, Hannele Hupanen, who delivered a speech on behalf of the Embassy of Finland.

Members of the Namibian business community, the media, NUST management and staff as well as the Havana youth group and community representatives were also present at the occasion.

MTC will be aiding the operation of the café with digital connection, equipment and service development under the NUST-MTC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and conjointly promoting inclusive national tech innovation.

Meanwhile, NUST pleads that the contribution of all institutions and individuals who supported the construction and launch of the Rlabs project and the Havana youth café in particular and may not have been credited by name, “is greatly appreciated.”

“In an effort to ensure sustainability of this youth-led initiative, NUST appeals to the public and private sector, international partners, academic institutes and the communities to continue working together,” they concluded.


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