Okorukambe constituency councillor Rocco Nguvauva believes the Omaheke region still has good infrastructure such as the Witvlei abattoir and tannery to accelerate economic growth in the area.
Delivering his maiden speech in the National Council this week, Nguvauva said the abattoir could easily be operational again if properly capitalised to ensure full employment for people in Witvlei and surrounding areas.
“These two world-class facilities have been lying dormant for years and resulted in the collapse of the Witvlei and the deterioration of the living standards of our people in the town. Sadly, this is due to political infighting and grudges between individuals. It is now time that we put all our energies together in harnessing these facilities and make them again productive and profitable,” stated Nguvauva.
Omaheke region’s economic activities are centred on cattle farming and there is a great need to diversify its economic activities as the region is endowed with other natural resources like forestry, he said.
Nguvauva added leaders should promote secondary industries that are based on agro-business that would create employment opportunities for the youth of the region at large.
According to him, the region has a high young population, and a high youth population is advantageous in the sense that the youth are better able to access economic and social opportunities, share in economic growth, live healthy lives, and contribute to household, community, and national wellbeing.
“To put this dream into action, I would like to urge all of us to work hard to revitalise initiatives that have so much potential and that can enhance economic growth in our region,” urged Nguvauva.
He pointed out that there are several challenges the region is facing, among them that deeply concern is the treatment and conditions of farmworkers, who are also the backbone of farming activities.
Nguvauva stated the labour force in the region is mostly comprised of farmworkers who are more than 65% of all employed people in the region.
“That is a significant number that warrants our attention and focus. However, despite their contribution to the region’s economy and growth, farm labourers find themselves in dire need and endure unfavourable conditions and need urgent attention to improve their living conditions and also to ensure equitable distribution of resources that would also benefit them,” he said.
He further said without a productive workforce, that includes farmworkers, there would be no economic growth in the region.
Therefore, it is of critical importance for all to take hands with commercial and communal farmers and address the plight of farmworkers.
Furthermore, Nguvauva added that it is disheartening that despite laudable contribution to the economy by the agricultural sector, the region does not have higher education institutions that are catering to the sector.
“We recently read that there is an initiative to establish a university campus in the Ohangwena region, and equally I am appealing to the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation as well as the two public universities to consider setting up satellite campuses in the Omaheke region,” he appealed.