The president of Namibia paid a visit to the University library

This post is also available in: Finnish

On Wednesday, students were momentarily distracted from their reading when the president of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, paid a visit to the Helsinki University library during a state visit.The guests were impressed by the Finnish architecture and particularly by the free library services, available to everyone.

It was no coincidence that Helsinki University was selected as a place to visit. Together with Tampere University, the library has collaborated with the Namibia University library in a two-year long Foreign Ministry funded project, during which the professional competence of the library staff has been improved in teaching information retrieval skills, and in developing areas such as print and digital collections, academic writing and library strategy.

President Pohamba stressed that the project marks a continuation of the close long-term collaboration between the two countries.

There has been a co-operative agreement between the two universities for almost 15 years now and the student exchange is lively.

In their day, young Namibians who had fought for Namibian independence studied at Finnish universities, since which they have been appointed to executive positions in Namibia. Two of these students are Nickey Iyambo, who graduated with a degree in medicine from Helsinki University and is now an experienced minister, making a return visit as part of the  presidential entourage, and Ellen Ndeshi Namhila, a Tampere University graduate, who now works as the library director in the University of Namibia.

Following the brief visit, the Namibian delegation hurried to meet the prime minister at his official residence, and President Sauli Niinistö and the First Lady, Jenni Haukio, stayed on for a while to admire the modern learning environment.

Empowering People – New Book of the University Library Project with Namibia

Text: Suvi Kataja
Photo: Ari Aalto
Translation: John Calton