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Researcher nominated for SDG Action Awards

2024-04-17  Pricilla Mukokobi

Researcher nominated for SDG Action Awards

Shepherd Nyambe was nominated for the SDG Action Awards in March based on his impactful research projects focusing on climate action and sustainable energy in Namibia.

 His nominated projects include ‘Namibia’s Climate Action Journey: An Assessment on Inclusivity and Impact on Economic Growth’, and ‘Navigating Namibia’s Energy Crossroads: Balancing Renewable Ambitions and Fossil Fuel Opportunities.’

For the climate action research, he conducted an assessment to evaluate how Namibia’s efforts to address climate change were affecting economic growth and inclusivity.  This involved collaboration with stakeholders, including the National Youth Council of Namibia, where he facilitated a climate change workshop and collected data from participants to inform the research. The findings were shared with participants, leading to the nomination for the SDG Action Awards.

 “My inspiration to pursue research stemmed from a combination of curiosity and a desire to contribute to sustainable development. Through this process, I learned the importance of research and its potential impact on finding solutions to real-world problems. As I continued my academic journey, I realised that research was a powerful tool to effect change,” he said.

The energy research focused on advising Namibia on sustainable energy practices, particularly in balancing renewable sources with fossil fuel opportunities. This paper was nominated for the SDG Action Awards as an advocacy piece providing guidance on sustainable energy approaches.

“I was nominated in March, though the awards will be in June 2024 at a venue that will be announced later by the Environmental Investment Fund. I don't know who nominated me as the enormous email just requested me to give more details of my research work and how it addresses sustainable development,” he explained.

His journey as a researcher began
at a young age out of curiosity about electricity consumption. He conducted informal studies during junior secondary school, leading to the invention of the Shepherd Energy Saver in 2017. Recognition for this invention spurred his interest in research aligned with sustainable development.

His formal research journey continued with studies on Covid-19, green hydrogen, biomass and climate action. He presented research findings at international conferences, and had papers published, including his first formal research article on balancing renewable energy and fossil fuel opportunities, making him the youngest published researcher in Namibia at 22 years.

Despite the triumph, his challenge is not having a legal affiliation; research is easier when conducted through an institute for accreditation purposes. He, however, overcame this challenge through his affiliation with the University of Namibia. The main challenge in publishing was that most of the journals required payments to review and publish, and for that reason, he took the initiative to publish through research conferences. The challenge he is facing currently is that he has to launch his published paper, which  requires funding, but he’s trying to establish partnerships to achieve that.

“My future aspirations and goals in the field of research and sustainable development are centred around making a positive impact on society and the environment.”

2024-04-17  Pricilla Mukokobi

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