HENTIES BAY, NAMIBIA — Namibia has become the second country in Africa, after South Africa, to join the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) which brings together ocean scientists from across the world to advance ocean science and overcome barriers to understanding the ocean.

SCOR President Dr Marie Alexandrine Sicre made the announcement Wednesday at the University of Namibia’s Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre (SANUMARC) in this coastal town, some 350 kilometres west of the capital, Windhoek.

Dr. Sicre, who runs the secretariat office from the University of Delaware in the United States, said as a member of the committee, Namibia would benefit from SCOR resources, networking and partnerships.

The SCOR membership has thus far been predominantly from Europe, the US, China and Canada but in recent years,it has been paying more attention to involving regions which are developing to enhance their marine activities, which includes Namibia.

“We hope as a new member Namibia will contribute to SCOR activities and also contribute to expanding the SCOR network in Africa,” Dr. Sicre said.

SANUMARC Director Dr. Sam Mafwila said the event is cause for celebration for Namibia, because it will enhance the country;s oceanic research capacity.

UNAM Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, Professor Kenneth Matengu said increased research capacity will enable the country to understand the ocean better and take advantage of the blue economy.

Henties Bay Mayor Herman Honeb said the community depends on fishing and research will help them to better understand how to take good care of the ocean. “We will also learn which resources are available and how we can harvest and utilise it to improve our local economy.”