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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  17 Oct 2008

TECHNOLOGY: GSP Guru Profess in Namibia


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Jonathan Foster-Pedley, Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), has been appointed a Visiting Professor in entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity at the Polytechnic of Namibia.

The Polytechnic – soon to become the Namibian University of Science and Technology – is driven by the imperatives of leadership, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. The Polytechnic has embarked on initiatives to aggressively advance these imperatives across the institution.

The new Visiting Professor position will see Foster-Pedley advise on strengthening the institutional capacity – faculty, staff and students – in leadership, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. He will also assist with business incubation, community and government projects and applied research.

“This is great opportunity for me personally and the UCT GSB – the Polytechnic is engaged in a number of innovative and progressive projects and education initiatives with Finnish, German, US and other partners. I am looking forward to the challenge and to promoting the UCT GSB's presence, via these contacts, in Namibia,” he said.

Foster-Pedley was recently appointed creativity and innovation advisor to the Namibia Business Innovation Centre project, a new initiative combining a science park, technology park and business incubator, and his new visiting professorship has developed out of this involvement. Funded by Finnish Aid funds and run through the government of Namibia and the Namibia Polytechnic, the landmark project is set to massively increase support for entrepreneurial firms in Namibia.

“Namibia has been seen mainly as a mining, fishing and ranching industries based country, but this is changing fast and the Business Innovation Centre is set to advance innovation in a major way. The country has some leading lights that have the incredible ability to connect globally and interest and support is coming into the country from businesses and agencies around the globe.

“It is amazing to witness government, business and academia coming together in this way to see how they can take this small country into an exciting new economic model, moving away from old concepts that many African states are hamstrung by. Namibia is today energetic and progressive, and the people have ambition and confidence,” said Foster-Pedley.

Foster-Pedley noted the country’s high sustainability ethos, the establishment of new training centres in areas like hospitality and logistics, and its seeking out of new opportunities like eco-tourism as signs of its changing economic landscape. He said that South Africa, as a country also is great need of innovation, could draw from some of the initiatives being implemented by its neighbour.

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