Full speed in Namibia

In a joint project of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and its strategic partner, Namibia University of Science and Technology, resource efficient urban development in developing countries is studied.

7.11.2016 | By: Minna Keinänen-Toivola | Photo: Minna Keinänen Toivola & Heikki Koivisto

Walvis Bayn satamaa – A view from the Port of Walvis Bay
Walvis Bayn satamaa – Port of Walvis Bay

Urbanization in developing countries is a continually rapidly accelerating international process.  It brings vast challenges to clean water and to the availability of electricity and construction.  Tightening city structure also demands efficient sanitation and waste management.

The pilot city in the research project in Walvis Bay composed of 60.000 inhabitants is located on a shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The city is expanding dramatically, as there is an on-going expansion of the port valued at approximately 300 million US dollars, and there are several other development plans for the upcoming years.

The city gets its drinking water from ground water, but it will not be enough for the increasing population. The waste water treatment plant is rather old and close to its capacity. Fossil fuels are the main energy source. Recycling is rare. In the project, it is studied how the concept can be handled cost efficiently within the local conditions.

Environmental friendly solutions as a key
& Industry leading the development

The second research theme is local industry and development possibilities in resource efficiency. The second largest export products, right after mining, are from the fishing industry. There are seven large fish factories and several smaller ones in Walvis Bay. The fish factories follow the European quality standards for the food industry as the main market is in Europe. At the pilot fish factory of the project, Merlus Food Processors, the use of solar energy, possibilities to produce biogas, recycling of gray water and energy efficient lightning is studied.

SAMK’s solar energy concept, SOLARLEAP Satakunta which provides experts for the theme, can also be modified and exported to developing markets.

“As Namibia has 300 sunny days in a year, the source of energy is secure”, the head of Smart Energy Solutions research team Meri Olenius, guarantees.

Finnish companies visited Namibia in September-October on a fact-finding mission to explore local conditions and to boost business together with Namibians.
“The project speeds up the development of our biogas solution, as we are especially heading to the developing markets”, says Ahti Koivunen, chairman of the board at Fimuskraft Ltd.


  • Urban Resource Efficiency in Developing Countries-pilot study of Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • A research project funded jointly by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Other funders: seven Finnish companies: Sansox Ltd. (clean water), Fimuskraft Ltd. (biogas), Rannan Teollisuuskone Ltd. (clean water), Naps Solar Systems inc. (solar energy), GA90 Recycling (recycling), Riffid Ltd. (ICT) and SWOcean Ltd. (ICT) as well as SAMK
  • Research instances: SAMK and local university Namibia University of Science and Technology
  • A new research team Smart Urban Business has started at SAMK and these are main themes in research work

See videos: NAMURBAN Project report 2016

See also a company's viewpoint: Wastewater to be usable again, Mikael Seppälä, Sansox Ltd.


Info: SAMK and Namibia since 2012

  • Training project for crew  of research vessel Mirabilis 2012-2015
  • Development of maritime training project 2013-2015
  • Memorandum of Understanding with University of Science and Technology 5/2015
  • NAMURBAN 10/2015
  • Tekes BEAM preparatory project for smart transport and logistics NAMHUB 2016
  • IMO and EU application for “Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre” 2016
  • Tightening co-operation in education
  • Expanding operations:  health care, business and ICT
Namibiassa Olenius Kgabi Rijnen Koivisto ja Keinanen-Toivola

About the author

Minna Keinänen-Toivola
Project Manger, PhD.

Photo: The author on the right. Others, from left ro right: Meri Olenius (SAMK), Nnenesi Kgabi (NUST), Bas Rijnen (NUST) and Heikki Koivisto (SAMK). NUST is SAMK's strategic partner Namibia University of Science and Technology.

7.11.2016 | By: Minna Keinänen-Toivola | Photo: Minna Keinänen Toivola & Heikki Koivisto

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