Last year, I presented a paper at an IST-Africa Conference in Durban, South Africa. This conference ran from 11th to 13th May. It was the eleventh in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research Conferences, supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC).

This year’s edition of the conference took place at Safari Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia from 31 May to 02 June. This time round, two of my undergraduate students, Abraham Salom and Joseph Kemba, presented their research papers for the very first time in their lives.

The details of their papers are as follows:

  1. A. Salom, C. N. Nyirenda, and T.O. Olwal, BER Performance for Feasible FSOC Deployment in Namibia and South Africa , IST-Africa Conference, Windhoek, Namibia, May 31-June 2, 2017.
  2. J. Kemba and C. N. Nyirenda, “Leakage Detection in Tsumeb East WaterDistribution Network using EPANET And Support Vector Regression , IST-Africa Conference, Windhoek, Namibia, May 31-June 2, 2017.

It was so exciting to see these young guys presenting their work and answering very probing questions from the international audience confidently. On the sidelines of the conference, several people came to me to confirm if these guys were really undergrads.

Clement Nyirenda and Abraham Salom

Clement Nyirenda and Abraham Salom

Clement Nyirenda and Joseph Kemba

Clement Nyirenda and Joseph Kemba

Namibia is currently going through tough economic times. As a result, the University of Namibia is really struggling financially. We can no longer not use the University’s funds for registration and subsistence allowance.

Luckily, NCRST paid for our conference registration(100 Euros per person). They actually made these payments for all Namibian researchers who were presenting at the conference. I express my heartfelt gratitude to them for this kind gesture.

I used my own cash for transport for myself and Abraham who is also based in Ongwediva, some 700 km north of Windhoek. Joseph was already in Windhoek. While in Windhoek, I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast accommodation place while Abraham stayed with her sister.

The Conference gave me an opportunity to interact with some Malawian friends such Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, Patrick Chikumba, Brown Msiska. I also had some nice networking engagements with Prof Antoine Bagula from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and Prof Haitham Hamza from Egypt.