Saddam Biwa (30) has a keen interest in developing spatial programming to create moments that help with the development of people, spaces and communities. This has grounded his ideals in place, iterating the focus on spatial experience in line with concepts of ‘Promenade Architectural.’
He is the programme manager at the One Economy Foundation tasked to ensure the smooth implementation of programmes and institutionalisation of the key learnings from the #BeFreeMovement.
“It is easy to say, ‘I will create a platform to do this and that’ but what is more interesting for me about my job is that one has the opportunity to scale your proposed interventions and implement key concepts to reach the youth throughout the entire Namibia,” he told Youth Corner.
Biwa, a young designer and architect in training holds a Master of Technology in Architectural Technology from the Graduate School of Architecture of the University of Johannesburg, a Honours and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Technology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
He said it is important to reach out to the youth but feels that it is also important that when the youth reach back, they can grasp onto a firm, strong and resilient framework/community that will guide them and act as a reference point throughout their lives.
“I believe that the core values and programmes that the One Economy is establishing, initiating, will provide a strong foundation to build upon. There are several different issues that the youth are dealing with right now. The one that is most pressing for me at the moment in the idea of ‘access’. If we look at structural layout there are very little places for the youth to safely express themselves, host events, extramural studies,” elaborated Biwa.
He added: “In my experience, it is the very littlest of opportunities that can change one’s life. As the youth we have the energy, the aim is to harness it and set up the correct frameworks so we can express ourselves. I feel very excited and very grateful to be allowed to contribute to the amazing goals and objectives of the One Economy Foundation. It has been a long journey to get to this point and I am very intrigued about the multidisciplinary approach to tackle social and economic issues.”
Biwa served as an architect in training at Karen Munting Architects and Kamau Architects and Associates. In these roles, he had the privilege of working on landmark projects that facilitated greater access to educational and socio-economic opportunities for remote communities.
“These projects include the development and construction of Onawa Primary School Phase 2, Unam Southern Campus, Omaheke Regional Council, Havana Primary School, and numerous NTA vocational projects,” shared Biwa.
Communications officer at the foundation, Hilma Petrus said they provide unique opportunities to develop vibrant, innovative and youth-focused frameworks which provide the youth with opportunities to grow and express their talents, and Biwa like other young Namibians was accorded the opportunity at the foundation to portray that.