Government doing more to support SMEs

Home Business Government doing more to support SMEs

OHANGWENA – President Hifikepunye Pohamba says the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector is an important source of the country’s economic growth.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein, during the official opening of the Helao Nafidi Business Expo, Pohamba also commended the SME sector for its involvement thus far in the economic development of the country.

Pohamba said his government is convinced that SMEs are equally important sources of sustainable employment creation and are therefore crucial to the success of an enterprising economy, hence government is committed to the development of the SME sector.

The president said through the Ministry of Trade and Industry government has put in place various programmes and facilities to assist the SME sector to establish and grow their businesses. “This includes the provision of affordable business premises for production and trading purposes, aimed at enhancing SMEs’ production capacities and the equipment aid scheme through which existing and aspiring entrepreneurs are provided with equipment on a cost-free lease basis,” said Pohamba.

The president said the SME bank was established with the aim to ease the hardship of access to finances that the sector has faced over the years. Apart from the SME bank, government will construct a dry port at Oshikango, which should create great opportunities for Namibians doing business with Angola.

Mayor of Helao Nafidi, Paulus Haikali, also welcomed the guests and expo-goers including officials from various local authorities in the north that attended the official opening.

According to Haikali, this year the expo received applications from a prospective 417 exhibitors but only 120 exhibitors could be hosted. Haikali said the town is unlike most towns in the north in that it is characterised by traditional villages, thus not having much urban infrastructure. “But rest assured we are working around the clock to gradually transform this  town into an important economic hub in the north as well as formalise the predominantly informal business sector,” said Haikali.


By Helvy Shaanika