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ARAF urged to diversify

2023-09-29  Eveline de Klerk

ARAF urged to diversify

OMARURU - Local entrepreneurs were urged to come up with more innovative ideas and to diversify and add value to their products and services.

This, in turn, will not only translate into a higher return on investment, but allow them to tap into the African market. 

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila made this appeal when she officiated at the inaugural joint trade fair of Omaruru, Karibib and Usakos, also known as the Amalgamated Rotational Annual Festival (ARAF), which kicked off in Omaruru on Wednesday.

The trade fair brings together service providers, entrepreneurs and financial institutions to derive economic and development benefits for the three towns. She said value-addition is key for entrepreneurs to prosper as it not only generates a revenue stream for them, but also creates more employment opportunities for local residents. “Efforts to promote investment within local authorities are minimal. As they enhance the capacity to attract investments, they will contribute to local authorities, and also create more opportunities for entrepreneurs,” the Prime Minister noted.

Furthermore, the innovation by the three local authorities is exemplary, as it also allows entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The government will thus continue with efforts to support local enterprise development by promoting access to business finance and markets, she promised.

“Government also continues to improve the regulatory environment for businesses. Hence, I encourage businesses to take advantage of these opportunities offered by the government for them to grow,” she added. The Prime Minister likewise told exhibitors that the African Union adopted the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote trade among Africans and the growth of African economies.

“A more economically-integrated African economy is stronger and better able to bargain for better trade and investment terms with global partners. Namibia needs to prepare itself to benefit from the AfCFTA by building capacity to produce products for export to other African states. We also need to develop appropriate capacities to attract investors to our country to support increased economic activities and industrial development, and to support the competitiveness of businesses,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stated.

“Local authorities play a pivotal role in promoting local economic development by developing infrastructure and extending services to residents. However, their efforts are often constrained by resource limitations. Therefore, initiatives to attract investment are highly commendable, as they enhance the capacities of local authorities to create employment and stimulate economic growth,” she continued.

Also speaking at the opening was Erongo governor Neville Andre, who applauded the local authorities for working together despite their political affiliations, and putting the needs of the residents first.

“The power of unity is bigger than isolating each other, and that is exactly what we demonstrate today. Hence, we can only applaud you for showcasing your towns as investment hubs with potential.

2023-09-29  Eveline de Klerk

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