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Ambassador Mbuende celebrates 28th Independence Day at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

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Ambassador Mbuende celebrating 28th Independence Day at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

“We are here together to celebrate the future, not the past”. With these words Namibian Ambassador H.E. Prof. Dr. Kaire Mbuende concluded his inspiring speech during an exclusive celebratory dinner to commemorate the 28th Independence Day of Namibia.

The dinner took place March 21 at Faculty Club Huize Heyendael, a historic country house on the campus of Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. A very special location for a very special reason because the “future” Ambassador Mbuende referred to, was all about one of the most challenging scientific projects Radboud University is currently working on in close collaboration with the University of Namibia in Windhoek: the hunt for the first-ever picture of a black hole.

A select group of 30 invitees, including a delegation from the Namibian Embassy in Brussels, was briefed about this scientific project for which a radiotelescope needs to be installed on the Gamsberg Plateau in Namibia. Both during the dinner and a preceding workshop, the guests were asked to participate in a discussion which focussed on the project’s scope for social and scientific impact investments and finding supplementary means to support this research.

Leading scientist Prof. Dr. Heino Falcke gave a  update of the project and brief presentations were given about the historical relations between Namibia and the Netherlands, the investment climate in Namibia and the importance of scientific collaboration between these two countries.

Ambassador Kaire Mbuende said, “Scientific cooperation can make a significant contribution to the development of human capital that is required to transform the economy of Namibia. The successful implementation of the project will put Namibia on the map as the centre of a major scientific breakthrough. This will have a positive impact on the educational system in the country. It will also attract tourism.”

Vice President Radboud University, Ms. Wilma de Koning: “Our scientific cooperation, is in full swing. Two years ago, the University of Namibia and Radboud University signed a Memorandum of Understanding, followed by subsequent visits and exchange. And we are not there yet: the project at hand – reaching for the stars, so to speak – is very ambitious. But we believe in it.”

Concluding an animated discussion, attendants agreed that enormous potential spin-off is to be found in both the Netherlands and Namibia e.g. in scientific and socio-economic development. At the end of this entertaining evening, Radboud University presented a Namibia-birthday cake with 28 candles which Ambassador Mbuende extinguished in three forceful blows.

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Photography by the Embassy of Namibia.

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