A postdoctoral student at the UCT Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re) was recently joint winner of a prestigious United Nations award, one of the 2013 SEED (Supporting Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development) awards. Dr Hilkka Ndjaula’s Dried Fish Company (DFC) and its partner, the Women’s Enterprise Development Initiative (WEDI), aim to help Namibians attain food security and reduce the economic gender gap in that country by boosting women-led enterprises.
For someone hailing from a country where the fishing industry is a pillar of the economy, it’s hardly surprising that Ndjaula’s postdoctoral studies in marine biology revolve around the population dynamics of small pelagic fish like sardines and anchovies. Her doctorate and master’s in marine biology were completed in Norway.
DFC uses solar energy to dry frozen horse mackerel, which is then distributed to outlets run by WEDI, a women’s co-operative that has exclusive distribution rights focused on rural areas.