MINING company B2 Gold Namibia has donated a veterinary unit worth N$3,2 million to the University of Namibia.
The unit, located at the university's Neudamm Agricultural College near Windhoek, is designed to provide students with essential training and will also provide training, research and clinical services to both state and game farmers.
It is also designed as a quarantine holding area for the export of wildlife and will be used as a wildlife auction facility. Speaking at the handover on Friday, B2 Gold Namibia managing director and country manager, Mark Dawe said the sustainability of wildlife should be the biggest component of Namibia's wildlife sector.
He noted that the company's vision and values recognise environmental stewardship and social responsibility as integral components of business in today's world.
"When we support wildlife, it is about passion, as we believe that wildlife and economy in Namibia go hand in hand," Dawe said.
Unam's acting vice chancellor, Ellen Namhila, said the unit will enable students to gain the necessary training to provide the university with qualified veterinarians to serve the farming sector.
The dean of the university's faculty of agriculture and natural resources, Anna Marais, said Unam's school of veterinary medicine has been in operation since 2014, producing its first 17 veterinarians in December 2019.
She noted that the veterinary undergraduate course includes three modules on wildlife clinical studies, which aim to provide a foundation for veterinary science as it relates to wildlife conservation and the game industry.
"The curriculum includes wildlife science because of the heritage of wildlife we see in Namibia. The primary goal is to provide the graduates with the managerial skills to monitor and maintain a healthy population of wildlife in Namibia and to deal with the challenges of wildlife conservation and the ever-growing game industry," she emphasised.
Since its inception, the school of veterinary medicine has registered a total of 150 students.