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FNB supports Women in Engineering

Ian Leyenaar, CEO of FNB, Smita Francis, researcher and lecturer at Polytechnic of Namibia, Prof. Tjama Tjivikua, Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia and Chairperson of the FNB Foundation, Jane Katjavivi at the handover ceremony of N$72 000 to the Women in Engineering’s Solar Lamp Project.

Ian Leyenaar, CEO of FNB, Smita Francis, researcher and lecturer at Polytechnic of Namibia, Prof. Tjama Tjivikua, Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia and Chairperson of the FNB Foundation, Jane Katjavivi at the handover ceremony of N$72 000 to the Women in Engineering’s Solar Lamp Project.

First National Bank (FNB) this week handed over a sponsorship of N$72 000 to the Women in Engineering’s Solar Lamp Project. The project is entitled “Sustainable Development in Namibia using Solar Energy. “The Women in Engineering have initiated a research project on design and fabrication of free standing solar street lights. These solar lights will be deployed on some parts of the Polytechnic Campus and at a later stage new innovation will be developed to light buildings as well as provide electricity to the laboratories.
The project is in its first phase but the research group which is made up of two lecturers at the Polytechnic and two students are confident that the first free standing solar street lights will be seen on the streets by December next year. “Engineering has been a field that is male dominated. This is not just a Namibian issue but it is so world wide. Perhaps the statistics in this regard provide us a clearer picture. In our country as at 31 January 2009, the total number of engineers as well as engineering technicians registered with the Engineering Council of Namibia stood at 847 of which only 93 (11%) were female,” said, Prof. Tjama Tjivikua, Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia. Chairperson of the FNB Foundation, Jane Katjavivi said the initiative by the Women in Engineering group is in line with one of FNB’s five values, which is innovation, unlocking creativity by allowing different people to explore new and unique ways of adding value. “The FNB Foundation supports this project because we believe it will show how engineering can improve people’s living conditions. We applaud it also because it is a project set up by women engineers in training, and it challenges the male face of engineering as a discipline and a profession,” she said.

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