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Reflections on the Stellenbosch Business School Alumni event hosted in Namibia 01 June 2022

Group of people at an indoor event

30 June 2022

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Overview of the event

Following the Stellenbosch Business School Alumni Annual General Meeting held on 8th March 2022, the Namibia Alumni chapter committee made a commitment to host impactful alumni sessions as part of its strategic objectives of the year. The idea is to make a slight shift from the traditional way of hosting engagements focusing only on alumni, and to extend the engagement to the public. It was on this background that the team decided to search for a robust topic of discussions that will attract public interests and make significant contribution to public dialogues that involves matters of national concerns.

The team therefore reached out to the Namibian Minister of Finance to come and speak because just recently he tabled a national budget with a strong theme dedicated to the Namibia Youth. The team decided to further involve one of the Namibian renowned economists to bring in economic and financial expertise into the dialogue. To provide a well-rounded discussion, the team decided to further include the director of the business school, as an academic to make reflections to the dialogue.

 

Facilitation of the discussion

In alignment to the alumni objectives of creating a shared value to the business school community, the team reached out to Reem EL Sherif to assist with the event facilitation. Reem was chosen on the merits that she is a PhD candidate at the Business School, and she recently published her article. It was necessary to give her value adds in the promotion of her scholarly work.

 

The following were key aspects in the plenary discussions:

The Director of the business school, Prof Mark Smith reflected on the skills gaps and role of the business school in addressing challenges facing the youth in absorbing opportunities. He Highlighted the kind of support and opportunities or general value that the Business school has in place for the Alumni.

The Economist, Mr Salomo Hei, an alum, used data and industry research work to highlight trends in various economic/industrial sectors looking at risks, threats, opportunities, and shortcomings in the economy as far as the youth is concerned. He identified gaps in the policy and recommended solutions to identified economic problems facing the youth.

The Minister (Policy Maker), Honorable Mr Ipumbu Shiimi, an alum, reflected on policy issues around the economy and how government is supporting youth programs. He highlighted issues of public debts, covid impact on the economy and the importance of embracing domestic made products.

 

Arrangement and organisation of the event

The event was organised as a team effort. The team really work well together by assigning tasks among each other. Some members were responsible for event logistics, operations and coordination, marketing, drafting of events scripts, reaching out with speakers etc.

 

Way forward

The team is planning to host a joint- event with multiple locals and international stakeholders such as Multinational, NGOs, Private sector, Government, and Individuals around October/Nov 2022. The idea is to pull and share resources with the stakeholders and create a platform of engagements that demonstrates a shared value at a larger scale.

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