Welcome to the National Commission for Research, Science and Technology.

Fostering Excellence through Knowledge and Innovation

"As we go forward, we will seek to be transactional in maintaining and strengthening the governance architecture, but we will also be transformational as we prepare the citizens for the new economy that requires the development of new parameters in education, innovation, and enterprise", - His Excellency, Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia

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National Innovation Challenge for Women (NICW) and the FemBioBiz Season III

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Congratulations to the Winners of the RSTI Awards 2016

12 Oct 2016

The Annual Research Symposium 2016 culminated in an exciting and impressive event, the National Research, Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Awards Ceremony held on the evening of 23 September. The Awards are in recognition of individual scientists, researchers, technologists, engineers and science institutions for their contribution to the development of science, technology and innovation in Namibia.

Here are our winners:

Geologist of the Year: Prof. Akalemwa Frederick Kamona

Professor Kamona is a PhD graduate from the Rheinisch Westfällische Technical University of Aachen (RWTH Aachen, Germany), and MSc, BSc graduate from the University of Zambia (UNZA) with more than 20 years’ experience in various senior positions, including senior geologist (Luanshya Mine), Dean (School of Mines, UNZA) and Department Head (UNZA, UNAM). He conceptualized, designed, developed and implemented the first BSc geology curriculum at UNAM in 1998. Under his guidance more than 200 geology graduates have successfully completed their studies at UNAM.

He was also Project Co-ordinator of the UNAM MSc programme in applied geology implemented in 2013. He initiated the international UNESCO/IUGS Project 450 as co-project leader in ore deposit research of sediment-hosted base metal deposits of West Gondwana. He is also an active member of the Czech- Namibia research team on the assessment of environmental impacts of mining and processing of ores in Namibia.


Physical Scientist of the year: Dr. Riaan Steenkamp

Riaan Steenkamp was born on 30 July 1967 in Outjo, Namibia. He started his Scholastic training in Suiderhof Primary School and completed it in Academia Secondary School where he matriculated with distinction in 1985. Thereafter, he enrolled at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (now North- West University) in 1986. He obtained the Bachelor of Science in Physics and Applied Mathematics (1989) and Master of Science in Computational Astrophysics (1991). Thereafter he obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in 1995 in the field of Computational Cosmic-Ray Physics In 1994, a doctorate candidate, he joined the University of Namibia as a Lecturer in the Department of Physics. He already served two terms as Head of Department and he is currently serving his third term in that capacity. He has authored and Co-authored papers in prestigious international journals, including being a co-author of publications in in the top journals Nature and Science.

Dr Steenkamp has been extensively actively involved in attracting large scale astronomical projects and initiatives to Namibia including the phenomenally successful High Energy Stereoscopic System (H. E.S.S) project. He was instrumental in having Namibia join Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project and led the initiative to propose Namibia as a destination. He is also the key figure in the Namibian drive toward SKA readiness and building Space Science and Astronomy Capacity in Namibia. He is also serving as the chair of the Namibian Space Science Council (NSSC) assisting in the developing of the Science related polices, directives and interventions.


Life Scientist of the year: Prof. Percy Maruwa Chimwamurombe

Professor Percy Chimwamurombe is a Biotechnologist trained at University of Pretoria. He has graduated 8 PhD and 14 MSc students who now are serving the Namibian scientific fraternity in various capacities. He has attracted to Namibia research funding from international and regional agencies as well as being invited to present scientific papers world-wide. To date he has published over 80 peer-reviewed research articles.

In 2015, in Kavango region, he discovered the bacterium Bradyrhizobium subterraneum in collaboration with other researchers and are now investigating ways to innovatively manufacture a biofertiliser. He is negotiating with the University of Namibia lawyers to license biofertiliser formulation. Furthermore, Professor Chimwamurombe has harnessed a strong relationship with the local farmers to develop marama bean into a climate-smart crop alternative. He is now designing ways of making marama prototype products. Presently, he is leading research work in the production of marama bean seeds for international dissemination.


Researcher of the year: Dr Heike Winschiers-Theophilus

Professor Heike Winschiers-Theophilus is working for Namibia University of Science & Technology, Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Computer Science Department.

Her research focuses on co-designing technologies with indigenous and marginalised communities under the motto of “indigenise, innovate and impact”. Prof. Heike established a world-renowned research cluster on community-based indigenous knowledge technologies working with numerous Namibian indigenous communities, international partners and students. She continuously supervise honours, masters (4 completed, 2 ongoing) and PhD students (3 ongoing) in this field.

Concerned with the lack of opportunities for Namibian youth to prosper she has established research and community outreach projects deploying technology design for social change with marginalized youth. It attracted many Namibian students and international grants. Novel methods of community-enhanced and challenge-based learning were successfully piloted. In 2015,

She co-authored 2 journal papers, 11 conference papers, edited one book and presented one keynote. Prof. Heike received 2 international academic awards and one international invention bronze medal for digitalising and preserving a secret indigenous sign language of the Penans in the rainforest.


Young scientist of the year: Ms Josefina Hamutoko

A PhD student (full-time) Geology at University of Namibia and has achieved the following.


•       Bachelor of Science (hons) Geology at University of Namibia

•       Master of Science in Environment and Resource Management at Brandeburg University of Technology Cottbus – Seftenberg, Germany

•       Awarded SASSCAL scholarship for studying PhD in Geology

•       Awarded DAAD-SPACES scholarship for studying Master of Science in Environment and Resource Management

•       Awarded DAAD-DIES scholarship for particiapting Proposal Writing Seminar at University of Cape Town, South Africa

•       NCSRT PhD grant Recipients 2015-2016

•       6 journal publications (2 as first author)

•       Abstract publications oral and poster presentations for numerous local and international conferences (NCSRT annual symposium, UNAM Science annual conference, WaterNet 16th Symposium in Lilongwe, Waternet 17th Symposium in Mauritius, IAEA Isotope Hydrology Symposium in Vienna)

•       Reviewer for 2 journals (Journal of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth and Journal of African Earth Sciences)

•       Numerous awards for best learner in high school


Research unit of the year: Faculty of Science, University of Namibia

This will be an organization/unit (GRN, NGO, private) recognized to have made a major contribution to Science in Namibia, by achieving the following:

•       Produced a significant number of high quality internationally recognized and referenced research papers, books and/or articles.

•       Registered patents and/or spin offs from their research outputs.

•       Developed an outstanding scientific capacity of Namibia, through developing strong internship or staff development or educational programmes.

•       Brought scientific recognition to Namibia through international prizes, awards or achievements.

•       In assessing the above, the final score for this award must be at least 60% - 80% of the criteria.

The Faculty of Science at UNAM has done a tremendous contribution to Science and Technology. It has so far produced enough publications and a good number of PhD graduates. We have conducted teaching and learning and now focusing on innovation and development.


Scientist of the year: Dr Heike Winschiers-Theophilus

This is a nominee who has made major contributions to Research, Science, Technology and Engineering in Namibia. The person will have contributed a combination of the following


•       Produced a significant number of high quality internationally recognized and referenced research papers, books and/or articles.

•       Developed an outstanding scientific capacity of Namibia.

•       Brought scientific recognition to Namibia through international prize, awards or achievements.

•       Recognized internationally for an invention or innovation in science.

•       Made an individual contribution to the improvement of the livelihood of the Namibian people, through patents or through projects solving major community development challenges.

•       Promoted Science and Technology through talks and presentations.

•       Recognised for innovations or inventions or patents both nationally and internationally.