Capacity Building Initiatives in Mineral Education in Southern Africa: Opportunities for Collaboration


  • Godfrey Dzinomwa Department of Mining and Process Engineering, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek
  • Harmony K. Musiyarira Department of Mining and Process Engineering, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek
  • Kawunga Nyirenda Copperbelt University
  • Raymond Suglo Botswana International University of Science and Technology



capacity building, challenges, collaboration, sustainability, research


Many countries in Southern Africa are generally endowed with a wealth of minerals. For example, South Africa and Zimbabwe are host to approximately 80% of the world's Platinum Group Minerals (PGMs) and chromite resources. Vast deposits of coal, both thermal and metallurgical, occur and are mined in significant quantities in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. However, the region has over the years experienced a shortfall in skilled personnel as well as well-resourced training institutions to convert the comparative advantage arising from the rich mineral endowment to a competitive advantage through efficient extraction, beneficiation and value addition. In recent years, Governments in the sub-region have responded to this unfavorable situation by opening a number of universities and other tertiary institutions focussing on educating and training a new generation of mineral professionals. This study reviewed the recent developments in the region and assessed the extent to which capacity shortfalls are being addressed in the minerals sector. The methodology included questionnaires and interviews, and the analysis was mainly qualitative. The main findings of the study were that although several mineral education institutions were being opened in the region, there is an inadequate number of professionals in the mining and minerals field in the region for teaching and research, and there are few well-equipped modern facilities for teaching and research such as laboratories and lecture rooms. This situation presents an opportunity for collaborative initiatives, not only within the region but internationally, aimed at addressing these shortfalls and ensuring that appropriate skills are developed for the mining industry and also for the academic institutions.