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Taapopi reflects on two years at Nanso…as he steps down as president

2021-11-10  Aletta Shikololo

Taapopi reflects on two years at Nanso…as he steps down as president
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Having been at the helm of Nanso’s leadership for two years, outgoing president and student leader Simon Taapopi has reflected on his journey, as he says goodbye to his role as the organisation’s president.

The vibrant student leader and activist, has stepped down from his role and has been replaced by vice president Gregory Madi while Luciano Kambala was appointed as the deputy vice president as per the

Nanso constitution.

“It has been a privilege to lead the organisation over the past two years and under my leadership, we have made remarkable progress,” he said, in a telephonic interview with Youth Corner.

Reflecting on some of his achievements, Taapopi said he has greatly advocated for access to education for all Namibian children.

Last year, the organisation assisted a total of 8 207 students at higher education institutions in Namibia through their Access to Education campaign.

The campaign was aimed at assisting students through policy planning, lobbying, and advocacy to access education.

“During our leadership, we ensured that every Namibian child who qualifies has access to education, I think that’s one of the benchmarks for me in terms of what I was able to do for the organisation,” he said.

During his tenure, Taapopi said his team has also helped put Nanso on track to eliminate a once-substantial structural deficit and have created operational processes and structures they never had before, therefore enabling them to have a much better handle on some critical functions.

“The organisation was sort of not well established but now we are. The organisation has spread all over the country in all 14 regions. We have also been able to establish an asset-base for the organisation,

now we can confidently say we have a fully-fledged office and we got all the necessary equipment and are able to source vehicles for the organisation,” he stated, adding that there have been many

accomplishments within the organisation under his leadership.

Taapopi said his decision to step down was influenced by his need to tackle other personal pursuits including academics and professional priorities that are competing for his time.

The Nanso congress where the new president was supposed to be elected was scheduled to be held this year but due to Covid-19 regulations, it was then postponed to early next year.

“I indicated to the national executive committee in October 2021 that I will no longer be able to carry out my duties until the next congress,” he said.

Taapopi’s tenure was not just smooth sailing, the student leader said one of the crucial challenges that could not be tackled since the previous leadership included Nanso’s resolution 16 which calls for free tertiary education.

“We hoped that in our time, the government could have met us halfway in terms of ensuring tertiary education is somewhat accessible because that remains a big barrier towards higher education. We also

hoped that we could have done more in ensuring that rural schools are on par with schools in urban areas, but we are happy that the government has ensured that most schools that were dilapidated were renovated,” he said.

As he bows out, Taapopi has called on Nanso’s members and stakeholders to support the interim leadership put in place and continue with the spirit of unity.

National spokesperson Esther Shakela said the organisation is grateful for the invaluable contributions Taapopi has made and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

“As an organisation, the needs of the students remain central. We are committed to continuing the work of the organisation, in fulfilment of our mandate and for the betterment of student and learners’ lives,” she added.

2021-11-10  Aletta Shikololo

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