Namibia

Beware the festive season

Logan Fransman, Director of the Namibian German Centre for Logistics 

has written a column about the need to think about logistics and transportation during the festive season. Especially with all the parties taking place. Both NGCL and DAAD work to promote road and general transportation safety in Namibia together with their stakeholders. The newspaper, New Era and online publication The Economist have already published the column. Have a read of it and share it. It certainly is good advice.

Each year it is upon us before we know. The festive season, spreading cheer, thinking about the holidays, seeing the family and hopefully getting away from the stifling heat. But, not before we have run the gauntlet of the ‘office parties’, end of year functions and social get-together’s. Dressing up, stuffing our faces, dancing and there may be an open bar. That’s right, the open bar. Sounds like a great idea, but it is not without its pitfalls.

It’s been a long year and the office party seems like the perfect place to let your hair down and party with people you spend every day with. The first challenge starts before you have even left the house or the office. How do we get to the office party, or dinner. Usually held at one of Namibia’s upscale hotels, restaurants or party hot-spots. Getting to the venue boils down to nothing more than logistics. This is also where the potential issues may arise. We all like to relax and let off some steam. A beer, a wine or a fancy cocktail often helps us along. But, how do we get home when we know we’ve been drinking?

Anything more than one or two drinks can cause big problems, from making inappropriate remarks, to some truly awful dancing, but much worse is thinking we still have the ability to drive home safely. Alcohol is often to blame for this as it gives us false courage and makes us bold. We all know about the horrendous death toll on Namibia’s road. The number of fatalities only increases around the Christmas season and especially at night after an office party, or end of year dinner.

Logistics really is about moving goods from A to B and in reality you, your passengers and other road users are also ‘goods’ and deserve to arrive safely. That is why safety is such an important aspect of logistics. The logistics sector cannot flourish if it is not done safely. This doesn’t even take into account my personal desire, but also of all Namibians to see the number or road deaths drastically reduced. It is a very depressing statistic to know that Namibia leads the world in road fatalities.

Of course, this is a worst case scenario and lots of people believe they can still drink and drive, it’s always other people that have trouble drinking and driving. Usually there are no issues and you arrive home, drunk and ready for bed. Happy the next morning to see that your car is safely in the driveway. However, take a minute to think of the people that don’t arrive safely, or ever again. The family, spouses, friends and your office workers who now have to deal with the knowledge that you will never come back again, or sit in that office chair. Even worse, you may have caused the accident and be the reason someone else never comes home again. This leaves you with much more than a hangover after the party.

Moderation sounds boring, but there’s a reason why the saying, ‘Everything in moderation’ makes so much sense. So, with the next office party, let someone else take care of the logistics; get a taxi, designated driver, book a room in the hotel where the party is or have someone pick you up. There’s a myriad of choices all infinitely better than drinking and driving. Enjoy the party and have someone else worry about the logistics.

 


NGCL successfully hosts 9th Annual Logistics and Transport workshop in Walvis Bay

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Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Namibian-German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) together with its partners and sponsors successfully hosted its 9th Annual Logistics and Transport Workshop in Walvis Bay. The three-day workshop themed: Namibian Logistics Hub: An opportunity for growth took place from 4th-6th October. It attracted over 80 delegates from across the country and the region and welcomed numerous experts  from logistics and transport sectors as well as Government, industry and academia.

The opening ceremony was graced by the Japanese Ambassador to Namibia, Hideyuki Sakamoto, who showed Japan’s commitment to providing expertise to the country’s logistics and transport development. Namibia’s Ministry of Works and Transport showed their support for the workshop and the platform given to the Transport & Logistics industry during these sessions in Walvis Bay. The Ministry emphasised that capacity building is the cornerstone of growing the economy and the nation as a whole.

The workshop had a blend of local and international speakers that shared their experiences, case studies, best practises and they highlighted some opportunities for growth that comes with a logistics hub vision. Topics like “How Corridors are established, and the Importance of geographic analytics to supply chains” were hot topics for discussion. Another highlight of the workshop was a presentation on the priorities for Namibia to grab opportunities through the Logistics Master Plan implementation. New topics like financing options for transport and logistics gave real insight and perspectives and updated the delegates on the status of the country in terms of leverage and financial outlooks.  The delegates were able to have frank and open discussions with technical experts and business developers on the growth expected. But, also what still needs to be done before the country can boast of being a world-class supply chain facilitator.

The workshop was well attended by students from different levels of studies that ensure capacity continues among the future graduates and workforce in the logistics sector. A poster competition for researching students featured during the event to give delegates some perspectives on the research activities of students in the country.

Local development updates on the Walvis Bay Port expansion and customs and excise initiatives updated the delegates on the dynamic developments that Namibia is undergoing. The workshop took the delegates on a tour of the Port. The successful workshop concluded with a spectacular gala evening. The gala evening featured Mr. Johny Smith, the CEO of the Walvis-bay Corridor Group, who gave a rousing speech on thinking ahead and tips on ensuring growth in the future.

The workshop concluded with training seminars on the third day, on relevant topics like Procurement and Purchasing, Warehousing and Stock Management and a Customs and Excise Information Sessions. These seminars add an extra dimension to the workshop and really add value by providing learning and professional development options for delegates.

Logan Fransman, Director of the NGCL said; “The workshop is a great platform as it shares trends, knowledge and information in logistics, transportation and supply chain management. The fact that we had a full house of delegates during these trying economic times demonstrates what an important fixture the Transport & Logistics Workshop is each year. Having our important partners and sponsors on board like DAAD – The German Academic Exchange Service, Development Bank Namibia, Southern Business School Namibia (SBS Namibia), Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and Namibia Breweries Limited made the workshop an even greater success.”

The mission of the NGCL is to contribute to the economic development of Namibia and the region by providing the expertise and strategies that promote and further logistics. Next year will see the 10th Annual Workshop take place and judging on previous workshops, this will be even better, bigger and all-inclusive when it comes to the Namibian and regional Logistics and Transportation sector.

 

 

WBCG logo DAAD FUAS logoNBLSBS NamibiaDBN

NGCL 9th Annual Logistics and Transport Workshop welcomes sponsors aboard

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The Namibian-German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) will host its 9th Annual Logistics and Transport Workshop in Walvis Bay. It will do so in collaboration with its industry-partners, many who have already signed up as sponsors for this annual event. The two-day workshop, with a third day of training seminars takes place from 4th-6th October, 2017. The theme for this year’s workshop is; Namibia as an Logistics Hub: An Opportunity

The close cooperation and sponsorship by industry-leading organisations and academic institutes have seen the workshop flourish year on year. It is therefore also an eagerly anticipated event within the Transport and Logistics Industry as well as beyond. Sponsors like DAAD – The German Academic Exchange Service, Development Bank Namibia, Southern Business School Namibia (SBS Namibia), Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and Namibia Breweries Limited are just some of the organisations that will make this year’s workshop a success.

Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), DAAD and SBS Namibia not only help make the workshop happen through financial and ‘in-kind’ sponsorship, but they also are knowledge partners and bring essential and sector-relevant input into the workshop sessions. WBCG’s CEO, Johny Smith will deliver the keynote address and a case study of the group will also be presented during the workshop.  Delivering and sharing high calibre logistics success stories, best practices and seminars. These organisations are joined by expert participants from the logistics and transport sector, government, industry, as well as academia and logistics students.

The theme this year focuses on the opportunity the Namibian logistics hub provides. The development surrounding the logistics hub is receiving attention from government, policy makers and planners to drive the attraction of international investors and organisations. The theme will highlight the developments within the country and looks at opportunities for future trade. It will include sharing and implementation of best practices as well as systems and case studies within the logistics and transport industry.

Workshop Swk 2016

Key topics that will be covered during the two-day event include:

DAY ONE:

  • Customs and Excise and its promotion within the logistics hub
  • Future of transport in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Investment and Financing opportunities for the sector

DAY 2:

  • The role of private sector in promoting port development
  • Supply Chain Visualisations and Freight Forwarder Challenges

Logan Fransman, Director of the NGCL said; “This is our 9th Annual Logistics and Transport Workshop and we couldn’t be prouder of having these great sponsors support us and the vitally important Transportation and Logistics sector through this Workshop.  The Government of Namibia identified logistics and transport sector as critical to the development of all sectors of the economy and our theme this year; Namibia as a Logistics Hub: An Opportunity will stimulate further development in this sector and boost growth and ultimately the economy.”

 The two day workshop takes place in Walvis Bay’s Protea Hotel, Pelican Bay from October 4-6th, 2017. To attend the workshops please contact: Mercelyne Maletzky, 061 2072909 or e-mail mmaletzky@nust.na

Alternatively, follow this link: http://www.centreforlogistics.org/

 

WBCG logo DAAD FUAS logoNBLSBS NamibiaDBN

NGCL Director gives his vision of the role of Logistics in achieving Namibia’s National Development Plan

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Transportation and Logistics essential to achieving NDP 5 goals of Namibia

As Director of Namibian German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) here in Namibia, I am tasked with promoting and highlighting the Importance of our sector. I was therefore very pleased to see that Transport and Logistics is included in the National Development Plan 5 (NDP 5), just like it had in the previous Development Plans.

The logistics sector is essential for trade, industrialization, socio-economic development and regional

integration and is therefore seen as a key developmental priority. The sector has been fortunate in the sense that the Government is very aware of how critical it is and has invested over the  past 20 years in transport infrastructure development (roads, rail, maritime ports, and aviation). These investments have enabled Namibia to position itself as a logistics hub within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). These investments are also one of the reasons that DAAD together with the Namibia University for Science and Technology established NGCL as a Centre of expertise and excellence in the field of logistics.

Namibia has been consistently improving its position on the Global Competitiveness Index, moving to 24 out of 138 countries in 2016/2017. With investments, increased expertise and professionalisation of the Logistics and Transportation sector our country can improve its competitiveness even further. This will allow the sector to enhance industrial development and contribute substantially to the GDP. It is easier said than done, as the low hanging fruit and quick wins in the sector have all been tackled. We are now looking at a much more  holistic and integrated approach to transport planning,  as well as the handling of goods, transporting of people and providing services.  This needs to fall within the parameters and the framework of the Transport Master Plan and Master Plan of an International Logistics Hub for SADC Countries.

It all sounds rather grand, but it is essential to be able to achieve these goals and look to 2022 and beyond, to remain competitive. If we as a nation and as a sector can achieve this through partnerships and investments, we will be able to improve targets in;  agriculture, mining, manufacturing, fisheries, rural and urban development and tourism. We therefore need to work together to create a sustainable transport system supporting a world-class logistics hub connecting SADC to international markets by 2022. This means tackling some very basic issues, that require a great deal of focus and attention as well as huge continued investment. Something which will be a real challenge in the present economic climate of Namibia.

Logan Fransman

Access to financial resources for our sector, as for every sector in Namibia remains a problem. This causes delays and inadequate funding for development of transport infrastructure, inadequate skills and imbalance between the development and preservation of infrastructure. Knowledge transference and development of technical skills such as NGCL and NUST offer need to be complemented by private and public enterprises opening their doors to allow new transport and logistics graduates to learn and flourish within this exciting and growing sector. Without these opportunities the growth, development and ultimately the sustainability of the sector will suffer.  If these challenges are met head-on and invested in we can be sure that by  2022 Namibia will have a safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable transport infrastructure, a world-class logistic hub connecting SADC to international markets. One that will be the envy of the region and the engine to our economy.

One final thought with regards to transport and logistics in this country is the pledge by Government to reduce the number of road deaths on our roads. As we know, it is pure carnage on our very empty roads and the statistics don’t lie. Should we want to be the logistics hub of SADC, it will need to start with road safety at its very core. Without this, everything else we try to do will be in vain.

 

Should these and other aspects of Logistics interest you, do join us at the 9th Annual Logistics and Transport Workshop from October 4th-6th in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Experts, researchers and sector professionals as well as students will all congregate to discuss a myriad of topics regarding Logistics in the SADC region.  Together with many sponsors and co-hosts it is a must-attend event for Logistics and Transport Professionals.

Register here:

NUST Transport and Logistics Society members go on educational trip to Durban

The Transport and Logistics Society students of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) recently took a trip to Durban, South Africa to understand the market of logistics on a global scale.  Durban was chosen as the destination for this trip because the port of Durban is the busiest port in Africa.

 

durban trip group 2Dr Fanny Saruchera (far left), the NUST Transport and Logistics Society Committee members (in white) and the society members in front of the NUST bus parked at the Port of Durban, South Africa

After 20 hours of driving we finally saw the city lights of Durban with logistics being very visible through the continuous stream of trucks leaving Durban heading to their various destinations. After some much needed rest, we headed off to the Maritime School of Excellence by the Port of Durban.

The knowledgeable staff of Transnet gave us a detailed presentation of what happens in the port and how it is maintained. We were shown their impressive shipping simulators and also educated of the different courses they offer. On the tour boat called “Isiponono, we navigated the entire port and got a fantastic insight into Durban Port. Large shipping vessels docking, offloading, and heading out, every aspect of logistics was on show for us.  Students were exposed to a little bit of what it took to build and run a port as big and as busy as the port of Durban, these were some of the operations we were able to witness.

Isipono

Port of Durban knowledge

The trip to the port of Durban began with the Maritime school of excellence that specializes in teaching programs ranging from machine handling to basic management. The school specializes in multimodal transportation courses and also works with the port of Walvis Bay.

The students also got to see the Maritime museum and got a great history lesson on boats, ships and fishing and how it first started in South Africa.

Our Society members were treated to a luxurious boat cruise which had delicious platters of food set out for us whilst enjoying the stunning views of beautiful Durban. The next stop was the largest marine aquarium in Africa, UShaka Marine World, where the dolphins stole the show. We managed some “fun in the sun” at the nearby Durban South Beach famous for surfing. This is where students had a chance to interact with members of the public to find out more about the language and the culture.

On our long trip back to Windhoek, we were given  a short presentation on how the Namibian Customs office works regarding imports and exports on the Namibian side. This is another vital aspect of logistics and transportation and goods cannot move without clearing customs.

Extra benefits
On the bus ride from place to place our amazing drivers; Mr. Kakei and Mr. Naughton (passionately known as the “anti-virus”) were kind enough to teach the students how to do vehicle inspection and they got to make practical their theoretical knowledge. Logistics is all about knowing how to keep things moving, so this was essential training for us.

Conclusion
We can look back on a successful trip. The Logistics Society hopes to have more of these educational trips to broaden our knowledge in our field of study and to gain unprecedented amount of experience. With the assistance of NUST, NGCL and DAAD we can really improve our logistical knowledge and be ready to be competitive in the market as well-rounded logistics experts. We plan to take more students on such trips and possibly expand our reach to places like Cape Town or Port Elizabeth. We would like to thank the University, our main sponsor Namibian-German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) together with DAAD and Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) as a whole for making this trip possible and allowing us as students to open our eyes to better opportunities out there.

New Era newpaper also published an article about the trip:

New Era_Durban visit_31 May 2017_2

 

NGCL promotes Big Data Initiative 2.0 at Conference

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Namibian-German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) knows that information and data is king. With this understanding, they launched a Big Data Initiative in March 2016,.  an interdisciplinary collaborative research programme whose aim was to map and explore how, where, when and why, Internet of Things and Big Data transformations are happening in the transport and logistics sector. As part of this initiative, NUST and NGCL will be hosting a conference on April 24, 2017. The objective is to launch the second phase of the Big Data Initiative for Logistics in Namibia.

Data and its analysis can give great insights into industries and specific sectors. The Logistics sector is no different. Using technology to analyse data, the logistics sector can improve efficiency, bring down costs and help companies to grow by streamlining their supply chains. Different academics will be presenting their papers and research at this conference taking place at the NUST Hotel School on April 2017 and starts at 08:00 a.m. till 15:00 p.m.

The topics to be discussed during the seminar include:

  • The Future of Logistics in Namibia
  • Technology for Big Data Management in Logistics
  • Data Analytics in Logistics
  • Application of Big Data in Logistics & Supply Chain Systems Performance Measurement

Aside from these topics there will also be discussions on logistics and Big Data, as well as how to financially profit from implementing Big Data in logistics.

 NGCL engaged various stakeholders, both private and public sector as to how immense volumes of data can be captured, stored, and processed. As well as finding an optimum way to gleam knowledge from such big data sets that can be applied to benefit logistics companies, government, communities, and individuals in Namibia. The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) was one such stakeholder that was engaged where the Road Safety Information Management System’s (RSIMS) accuracy and completeness of road accident data sets was assessed.

Building on these and other developments, the launch of Big Data Initiative 2.0 (BDI 2.0) on Monday 24 April 2017 at the NUST Hotel School will bring together key stakeholders from academia, industry and policy actors to discuss and deliberate on this collaborative research initiative.

Logan Fransman, Director of NGCL said; “Big Data is what is now fuelling and changing every business and changing the way in which whole industries operate. It will change business right here in Namibia as well and NGCL and NUST are at the forefront in logistics sector in Namibia and are therefore embracing the BDI 2.0 together with our stakeholders. We hope to welcome a great number of attendees on Monday April 24, 2017.”

Logan Fransman

For more information:

Mr. Logan Fransman
Director
Namibia German Centre for Logistics (NGCL)
Tel: +264 61 207 2909
E-mail: lfransman@nust.na

A logistics short course really gets your career moving

Study hard, get a degree and enter the job market. Climb the corporate ladder or start for yourself and see your salary grow and your prospects improve. That is the theory, the dream, the blueprint which has been imprinted into Namibians. Sadly it isn’t so easy, so linear or so definite. Also, a lot of knowledge needs to be picked up along the way, knowledge they didn’t give you as part of your initial degree.

This all sounds rather challenging and as if you don’t really have a chance. But, how do you manage and control your own personal development. When working in an accounting, human resources or a manufacturing position for example, what good is it to acquire extra knowledge in a field you know little to nothing about? Take logistics for example. The bedrock of almost any organisation. Without the movement of goods or services that the organisation produces, the whole company collapses. This movement of goods has to be carried out as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. The accounting department demands it from a budgetary point of view, marketing needs it as a unique selling proposition and HR requires it, as there’s only a fixed number of people to move the goods. So, swiftly, efficiently, economically and effectively moving goods is the name of the game.  This is where logistics shines. Adding to your bow with a short course in logistics and understanding the flow of goods and how this impacts every facet of a business is highly recommended. There are certain things to look out for when deciding to give your career the boost it needs.

When you’re working a full-time job, it’s hard to commit to a full time study and a fully-fledged degree in logistics might be a bridge too far. It also needs to fit into your work schedule and look at how busy your life is and how much time you really have to devote to studying…remember, you need to sleep as well. Completing the course you start successfully is what it is all about. This is where Namibian German Centre for Logistics  (NGCL) offers the perfect solution with their short courses.

Logistics can and is taught through understanding processes, theory and especially best practises and case studies. These short courses are especially geared to teach in this way. As a Centre of the Namibia University of Science of Technology (NUST) and facilitated by DAAD from Germany,  the courses are certified and give necessary boost in logistics knowledge to those that need to further their careers.  These courses provide something called Continuous Professional Development, something that in the ever changing and dynamic world we all need to aware of and embrace.

If you’re going to invest time into career advancement, especially here in Namibia, it is important to ensure you signed up to an NQA recognised course. Spending your or the company’s hard earned money on courses needs to be worth it. It also helps in general to sign up to courses that receive industry recognition. Ideally, you want to graduate with a certificate or other qualification widely recognised in your industry. NGCL works together with industry logistics leaders to offer courses that are tailor-made for the industry and therefore useful in practical working life.

Talk to people in Human Resources at your organisation as to how you can reach the next level in the organisation or get that sought after promotion through understanding logistics.

Whether you’re looking to brush up your skills, apply for a promotion or embark on a total career change, a logistics short course training o even a fully-fledged logistics degree can help you reach your goals. A qualification in logistics really gets your career moving.

 

Written by: Logan Fransman
Director : NGCL

Logan Fransman

An academic semester in Flensburg, Germany learning more about Logistics:

In today’s world things are changing dramatically and we are becoming one global village, with more opportunity arising from all corners of the world you are able to study anywhere in the world. This means that we are no longer bound to Namibia, but we experience and gain knowledge around the world.

Every year Namibian students who study Transport and Logistics, get an opportunity to spend a semester abroad (Germany) at the University of Applied Science in Flensburg in partnership with Namibian University of Science and Technology through the scholarship of DAAD. As well as with the assistance of Namibian German Centre for Logistics (NGCL). Flensburg is a town in the northern part of Germany close to the borders of Denmark.  The cooperation of these two universities allow Namibian students to spend one semester in Flensburg studying and doing an internship at a German logistics companies.

Picture left to right Mwandingi Jesaya, Amupolo Maria, Ms Ronakeh Warasthe, Pombili Nghihalwa and Uutako Paavo
Picture left to right Mwandingi Jesaya, Amupolo Maria, Ms Ronakeh Warasthe, Pombili Nghihalwa and Uutako Paavo

Maria Amupolo shares her experience how it feels to spend a semester abroad in Germany, Flensburg

Maria Amupolo is one of the brightest logistics students and earned herself the opportunity to spend a semester abroad together with other four students from NUST Namibia. She says coming to Germany was a unique experience for her because Germany is one of the best country when it comes to logistics and indeed the best place to provide a learning and practical platform for Logistics students.

Maria Amupolo on her travels through Europe, standing at one of Amsterdam’s canals.
Maria Amupolo on her travels through Europe, standing at one of Amsterdam’s canals.

Studying at the University of Applied Science was a great as it helped her to acquire the necessary skills especially on how to use the SAP and ERP software tools that are used worldwide by a majority of the large multinational companies that helps to integrate applications in order to optimize business process.

She says she was very fortunate to do SAP and ERP system training, as it is costly to do this specific course in Namibia. Furthermore, she has worked on several research projects with other international & German students. Giving Maria the opportunity to explore Germany, the German language and familiarise herself with different cultural diversity. She said; “The University is equipped with modern equipment, which made it easier to study, a good library with helpful resources. There were always people willing to assist with her research work as well as professors who are very kind and have all their students’ interests at heart; they were always available to assist in any circumstances. This was amazing and gave a whole extra dimension to the study experience.

Living and studying in Flensburg was not been a big challenge. Their public transport is reliable and you don’t really need a car, as you can take the bus to almost all the corners of Flensburg. Accommodation in Flensburg is affordable for international and local students, mostly well-equipped and student friendly.

Furthermore, Maria added that she is grateful for the DAAD scholarship that covered for all her expenses abroad, she further stated that her dream of going to Europe became a reality through the scholarship and she got the opportunity to travel to other countries close to Germany such as the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark. Meeting people from people all walks of life and this gave her an exposure which changed her perception of how things are done in foreign countries and how culture plays are big role. NGCL also did a great job in facilitating the studying abroad and it is definitely something she would recommend to others.

Spread your wings and learn  here is more out there and broaden your horizons. It will only benefit you more in the future.

 

Written by: Jesaya Mwandingi and Maria Amupolo

Through logistics I was able to spread my wings internationally:

Education is often said to open doors that were closed before. Dreaming of a career and making a difference I, Dortea Nehemia, became interested in logistics and started dreaming of faraway places. Goods being transported between exotic locations, not getting lost and spreading joy when they arrived is what motivated me to study logistics. At the same time I became very interested in trying to get an international internships within the field of Logistics. Luckily my professor, Professor Eugene Madejski told me about an internship opportunity in Mauritius facilitated through the NGCL (Namibian –German Centre for Logistics). All of my hard work paid eventually off, my high scores and consistently good marks meant that I qualified for the internship on the beautiful island nation of Mauritius.

Ireland Blyth Limited offered the internship and it was now a question of making the necessary arrangements. At first, I struggled to find funding for my journey. But then I was offered an even more exciting opportunity though the NGCL which was also a solution for my funding problem.

Learning to drive a forklift truck like a Boss!
Learning to drive a forklift truck like a Boss!

Professor Eugene said that as the Annual International Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport conference would take place in Mauritius and NGCL would send me as a delegate there, thereby being able to provide funding for the plane ticket. The opportunity was amazing! Just imagine me, a young humble student from the North representing Namibia at an international conference! I feel truly blessed to have chosen this field and be surrounded by positive people willing to assist and who have so much faith in me. The adventure was about to get even better and bigger.

Having never flown before, this adventure started properly by just getting to the airport. With the tickets in hand, the magnitude of what I was doing sunk in. Luckily as a newbee, three employees from Bank of Namibia helped me at Hosea Kutako Airport and as a result everything went smoothly. I didn’t even feel the fear a lot of people have of flying, however the nervousness did set in a little about the sheer task

Hard at work in the warehouse - Logistics in action
Hard at work in the warehouse – Logistics in action

and the unknown I was flying into. Especially as I didn’t want to disappoint anyone and I really wanted to do and be the best in the field of logistics.

My new landlord was waiting for me at the airport, and we drove to my new home where two European  students on internship welcomed me with open arms. The next day, I went to my new working place, Ireland Blyth Limited (IBL) a group of companies, kind of like Ohlthaver & List, the difference is that most of the companies that form part of IBL are located at one Business Park.  There I met the manager and some other employees, they were very kind and welcoming. Missing my bus on the first day of work caused me some tears, but eventually I got there and pulled myself together, ready to learn and contribute.

I was placed at Logidis, a leader in the logistics sector. They provide top quality warehousing solutions and other services to its valued customers.  At the beginning I felt insecure when the manager told me that I have my own project. With time I gained confidence and reminded myself that life is a process of learning.  Always having been someone not afraid of a challenge, I tackled the task and it was not difficult as I imagined.  I had to do an ABC analysis on frequency and quantity; the aim was to see whether the volume of the products in picking (in the warehouse) was appropriate, and to reduce the number of replenishments done based on the two ABC analysis.  Commencing with the project, it was great to see in ‘real life’ what I had learned and studied in theory. The size of the warehouse made me exhausted, but I realised quickly that the practical implementation of the theory was the best part of my job and I saw a fun and exciting future for myself in the logistics industry. I got to interview the pickers and other staff in the warehouse, seeing the movement of products and forklifts was great.  The internship taught me a lot,  my thinking capacity, knowledge on certain topics enhanced, I started to view things holistically and most importantly I believed and began to appreciate life as a process of learning.

The island is very green and blue, there are so many farm fields, filled with exotic fruits and sugar cane as far as the eye can see.  The sea is amazing and blue, a true paradise  It is amazing how busy the roads are, cars, buses, motorbikes and bicycles all making use of the narrow road, however I didn’t see any accidents. We in Namibia could learn something from that.  Due to the multicultural diversity, the Island boasts a number of spoken languages, Creole and French being the main spoken languages.  Most of the people I came across didn’t know where Namibia is located. So, I was able to tell them about beautiful Namibia, which filled me with pride. I never felt like a stranger as the people are kind, friendly and caring.  I was truly blessed and now that I am back in Namibia I still think often of my first opportunity to spread my wings and work in the logistics sector. Take my word for it, you haven’t seen the last of me yet and I will take the industry by storm and seek out more work experience around the world!

The internship expanded my horizons a great deal and no longer do I feel like I am just a girl from the village in the North, I am now part of the global logistics industry and it is all because of my studies in logistics. As well as having a professor that believed in me and NGCL that financially facilitated the opportunity for me to go the beautiful island of Mauritius.

ngcl_logo_2 Kopie

Road safety education and awareness, especially during the holiday season

With Christmas upon us, we are all thinking about heading out of town. To the coast, to the villages or even further afield. Almost every journey start in a car. This year, just like in previous years we lament the loss and injuries to our loved ones, friends and acquaintances as they used the roads in 2016. We Namibians don’t seem to learn, ever!

We are not stupid, yet as soon as we get onto the roads, we seem to leave our brain behind and carnage ensues. Road safety education in Namibia should be addressed at all levels, starting from an early age to achieve real and sustained behavioral change. We are talking about introducing road safety education in schools, that means every school in every one of the 14 regions. This is vital if the number of road deaths, accidents and injuries are to be decreased.

Recent MVA Fund data showed that road crashes increased by 16% from 2013 to 2014 and by 4% from 2014 to 2015. The increase in accidents translates into an increase in costs to the government and other institutions. Including; direct costs from medical and emergency services, after crash medical treatment, rehabilitation and sadly mortuary or funeral operations. However other costs in terms of workforce re-employment and re-training and poverty associated to that is unquantifiable. Just think of the social and community costs of losing a parent, child, colleague to name but a few. There are delays in transportation of goods, which often results in extra costs to be considered. The list and the impact on our everyday lives is endless.
Most accidents in Namibia occur as a result of drivers’ attitudes, behaviour, poor traffic guidance, visibility, speed, alcohol and fatigue. Of course there’s the unpredictable Namibian wildlife to contend with , ready to dart across the road when it pleases them without regard for traffic rules and laws.

The Namibia German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) and National Road Safety Council (NRSC) recently hosted a Mini Workshop Series session titled “Road Safety Education and Awareness” at the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Some of the stakeholders attending included representatives of themitarbeiter_03-256x372 Motor Vehicle fund (MVA), National Road Safety Council (NRSC), members from the City Police, Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Southern Business School and NUST students. Together we spoke of how and what can be tangibly done to decrease the road deaths, injuries and crashes. Education and repetition of this education is key, at all levels of society and for all road users…which is every Namibian.

Namibia must decrease the number of road accidents. One of the best ways is through road safety education and awareness. One of the  topics that jumped out was educating the public with more emphasis on child education. If children are taught road safety it is something they will carry with them throughout their lives. International road safety is guided through 5 E’s;

  • Education,
  • Enforcement,
  • Engineering,
  • Environment
  • Emergency Care.

For now we must realise as road users, the responsibility of road safety is shared amongst all Namibians and we must all work towards this common cause. Commitment is required by all relevant parties and cannot be successful if one of these areas is neglected.

Hopefully the need for road safety is something that we can all agree upon and work towards. Giving us a sense of safety and security when using the roads during this holiday season and in the coming years as well.

 

Wishing you safe and happy holidays and a prosperous 2017!