The United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) Online Photographic Exhibition

The United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) Online Photographic Exhibition: Help us identify the people, places and put names and dates to faces.

" Discover, remember and share " is the theme for this year's celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. 27 October 2017

UNAM Library, Archives Unit celebrates the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, by inviting and informing all former UNIN students & graduates, former UNIN lecturers, their families, comrades and all who knew about UNIN, to help identify the photographs as part of the ongoing interactive online exhibition.  UNAM Library, Archives Unit would like to draw attention to the rich photographic heritage that the institution holds from one of the most historic times of the Namibian liberation struggle. The online exhibition will showcase some of its rich collection of images from UNIN, Lusaka. The exhibition will run until 28 February 2018

The exhibition is divided into four themes, events, places, people and children. Events which showcase certain occasions that took place either in the refugee camps or at the institute in Lusaka, Zambia; Places which depicts either life at the institute or in one of the SWAPO refugee camps; People who were part of the institute either as visitors, students, lecturers and administrative officers; Children possibly at the institute or in one of the SWAPO camps.

Visitors are invited to view the pictures below and assist in identifying the people in the them as well as the places and events. Comments are invited from family members who recognizes their relatives in the pictures or recognizes the place the picture was taken or even the photographer. The exhibition will allow for interaction on its website, where visitors can leave their comments and their contact details in case of further consultation.

The photographic collection contains over 1000 images of the various UNIN activities over the years from 1976 until late 1990. Most of the photographs were taken on UNIN grounds in Lusaka, Zambia; some were taken at airports in Zambia and Namibia; some were taken in Namibia shortly before independence and during independence as well several others taken in Germany. However, 90% of the photographs do not have captions, and people, places in the pictures have not been identified, due to limited information available. Some of the images contain dates engraved on them, some have been stamped at the back with a stamp from the Lusaka’s Zambia Information Services. Some pictures have well known Namibian personalities and political figures, however many remain not identified.

Physical copies of the images can be viewed at the ILRC Building, UNAM Library Basement, Archives Unit, Main Campus. The photographs are available for consultation and for further identification. The Archives Unit is open Mondays to Fridays, 08h00 until 16h30, with lunch hour break from 13h00 to 14h00. For further details kindly send an email to  

To access other private archival material finding aids, please log onto:

About the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN)

The United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) was an educational body set up by the United Nations Council for Namibia in Lusaka, Zambia on 26 August 1976. A brainchild of the then United Nations Commissioner for Namibia, Sean MacBride, the idea of UNIN was to ensure that Namibians were educated by the time Namibia got independent. This was to ensure that Namibians could take up meaningful roles in an independent Namibia. 

Namibia at that time did not have its own tertiary education system but was using the apartheid Bantu Education system, which, by design was inferior and meant specifically for blacks in South Africa and Namibia. Thus, in 1974, the United Nations Council for Namibia under Sean MacBride suggested a tertiary education institution for Namibia in Zambia. The institute was inaugurated as UNIN on 26 August 1976 by the then President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda. The institute was led by the then Director and current Namibia’s third President, Dr Hage Godfried Geingob.

UNIN was funded by the United Nations Fund for Namibia, for a short period, as well as financial support received from individual government donations and private organizations such as the Ford Foundation.

The institute was closed in September 1990, with its documents, records and photographic collection being transferred to the University of Namibia Library, Archives Unit.

The Collection


The UNIN collection is a rich collection on Namibia during the time of the struggle for independence. It holds various publications (periodicals, books, newspapers, newspaper clippings, serials, government publications, and UNIN publications), theses, conference papers, photographs, lecturer materials, educational & religious instructional materials, posters and audiovisual materials. The collection also includes UN Council for Namibia records, UN Commissioner for Namibia records, Statutory Bodies including Commissions and Committees records, records of government agencies as well as SWAPO records.

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