GOBABIS - The Africa Group Heads of Mission in Namibia recently visited Omaheke Region to look for areas of possible economic cooperation.
The visit is part of the group’s annual activities, where they identify a region in Namibia to visit and benchmark in terms of economic development activities in that region.
Since Omaheke’s economic activities is mainly through cattle farming, the group visited Wagnou commercial farm, two government resettlement farms as well as Sandveld Agricultural Research Centre. Speaking on behalf of the group, the Zimbabwean Ambassador in Namibia, Rofina Ndakaziva Chikava said the regional visits are a means of looking at possible opportunities for cooperation between Namibia and other countries.
“The main reason for our visits is to benchmark and identify areas of cooperation between a region in Namibia and a region in our various countries. We promote economic development of our countries through bilateral agreements at the level of government to government and this covers such visits,” said Chikava.
Chikava stated that through this visit, the group was able to identify areas where there could be cooperation with the region’s strongest economic activities. During the visit to the Agricultural Research Centre for instance, Chikava showed the group how they could exchange information in terms of economic development through exchange programs with their various countries.
She further stated the group learnt a lot in terms of cattle farming and the preparation of supplements to feed the cattle to boost income for livestock farmers.
“The main highlight of the visit was the comparison of a commercial farm and resettlement farm, we noticed that, where resources are available, the farm can be very productive and where resources are not adequate, the farmer will have to prioritise where to concentrate in terms of production. Omaheke is a cattle region and during our visit, we noted that there is a need to try and diversify to other cash crops other than the original cattle ranching,” stated the Zimbabwean ambassador.
Apart from visiting the farms, they donated N$20 000 to Epako Old-age Home from their own pockets, as part of the group’s tradition of lending a helping hand to the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the communities they visit.
The old-age home that hosts 20 elderly people, is struggling to sustain its residents, since the Gobabis Municipality that runs it, is not subsidized by the government.
According to the Strategic Executive: HR & Corporate Services for municipality Frieda Shimakeleni, there are about 350 old people who has registered to be sheltered at the said home but due to financial and space constraints, the municipality could not take them all at once.
The elderly people contribute N$250 monthly, towards the one meal and breakfast that they receive on a daily basis, and also towards the transport in case they seek medical attention.
The Africa Group thus felt the shelter was a worthy cause for Omaheke Region.
Accepting the donation, the matron of the shelter Alwina Hlongwane expressed their gratitude to high commissioners, saying their home has never received such a big donation before and thus they are thankful as the money comes in handy towards the operations of the home.
The group thanked the regional governor and his staff for organizing and accompanying them throughout the visit, and also acknowledged Wagnou Commercial Farm owner Dr Alfred Dippenaar, who is a Dental Practitioner in SA, and has to travel all the way for the group’s activities.
They further thanked the resettled farmers for taking time to explain to the heads of missions, their progress, challenges and how they view their participation in the development of Namibia’s economy.
The group previously visited Kunene, Oshana and Erongo regions for the same purposes and they have in both cases donated to one disadvantaged community, as a way of bonding with the community.