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‘I feel very honoured’

17 July 2018

Lazarus Hangula

The outgoing University of Namibia (UNAM) Vice-Chancellor has received an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University in recognition of his illustrious career and support of a transformative project.

Professor Lazarus Hangula received the honour from Cardiff University at a ceremony in the city on Monday 16 July.

Cardiff University works closely with UNAM as part of the successful Phoenix Project, which seeks to reduce poverty, promote health and produce a sustainable environment.

A special lunch to celebrate the occasion was held for Professor Hangula, attended by the UK High Commissioner to Namibia, Kate Airey OBE, and the Namibian High Commissioner to the UK, Steve Vemunavi Katjiuanjo.

Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, has been a strong supporter of the Phoenix Project’s work.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said: “We are proud to be able to support and encourage more people to get involved in collaborative projects through our Wales for Africa programme. Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project is a tremendous example of such work.

“Some of the exceptional work that the Phoenix Project has done over the last few years has helped the University of Namibia drive up standards and has delivered some excellent results in health, computer programming and maths. The results could not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of Professor Hangula.”

Professor Hangula said: “I feel very honoured to have been selected to enter the pantheon of honour of your highly rated and celebrated academic institution - Cardiff University - as one of her first Namibian fellows.

Cardiff University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen Holford, said that Professor Hangula had demonstrated an “unwavering commitment and passion to education”.

She said: “As Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia, Professor Hangula has overseen significant expansion of the organisation and has implemented a number of positive changes that have made the university such a wonderful place to work and study.

“The relationships he has forged with higher education institutions outside Africa have increased the profile of the university tremendously and have unlocked a wealth of opportunities for students from all over the world.”

Professor Judith Hall of Cardiff University, who leads the Phoenix Project, said: “Cardiff University and UNAM have been able to deliver significant improvements to the quality of life of people in Namibia and Wales and none of it would have been possible without the backing of this brilliant scholar, educator and human being.

“I am extremely grateful to Professor Hangula for his continued support and his belief in the partnership between our two great universities and countries.”

Professor Hangula, who has been UNAM Vice-Chancellor for 14 years, is stepping down from the post and will be succeeded by Professor Kenneth Matengu on 1 August this year.

The Phoenix Project has made a major impact since its official launch by Mr Jones in 2014, creating more than 30 major work packages with external funding of over £1m secured.

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Cardiff University and University of Namibia are working for the peoples of both Namibia and Wales.