• December 6th, 2020

Buy local for economic recovery

Prolonged Covid-19 restrictions in the Erongo region created an existential crisis not only for locally owned businesses but the entire Namibian economy. For this reason, Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Verna Sinimbo called upon all agencies tied to her ministry to drive the revival of the local economy and truly realise the concept of #BuyLocal #GrowNamibia.  

Speaking at launch the “Buy Local Grow Namibia Karakulia Business Park Campaign” in the Erongo region last week, Sinimbo noted the trade ministry is regarded as the focal point for all resources offered to businesses by different levels of government, as well as local and regional support organisations. 

“Today, in Erongo region, we launch a campaign that seeks to support the recovery of Namibia’s local businesses by calling on all Namibians to #BuyLocal and #GrowNamibia by purchasing locally produced products first. Therefore, we are encouraging Namibians to support its local producers by shopping products and services which are produced locally,” said Sinimbo.  

The Buy Local Grow Namibia Karakulia Business Park Campaign complements a similar campaign launched by the minister of industrialisation and trade, Lucia Iipumbu, on 1 October 2020, which aims at promoting the consumption of local products and services.  
 Meanwhile, Sinimbo acknowledged all Namibian entrepreneurs and manufacturers who, against odds, continuously worked hard to ensure the country enjoys locally produced products. 

Said Sinimbo: “As a ministry of industrialisation and trade, we are doing all we can to ensure that indeed the Growth at Home strategy is implemented. Thus, our point of departure is really to ensure that Namibian-made products have market access both locally and internationally”.  

 She continued that in the face of Covid-19’s impact on business operations since early March when the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, government responded swiftly by declaring a state of emergency and issued orders for restricts and regulations on business operations and adherence to social distancing. As these restrictions were slowly lifted, the sever impact to local businesses was confirmed. 

Sinimbi added the trade ministry has done extensive work during the pandemic to strengthen the production capacity of local manufacturers and other businesses.  “Among others, the ministry has availed the standards and specifications for manufacturing of face masks and sanitisers, including working with local SMEs to produce public face masks, provision of relied grants to SMEs and hygienic kits to informal traders. In Erongo region, in particular, the ministry worked with the local manufacturers to produce 14 790 masks in a pace of two weeks, a situation that proves the region has the capacity to produce locally and swiftly responds to local demand”.  
 She added the on-going campaign highlights the vital roles local businesses could play to national economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Buy Local campaign allows the crucial role SMEs, women-owned businesses and local businesses in general play in creating jobs, strengthening community cohesion and building a long-lasting culture of ‘local first’, which helps local entrepreneurs to prosper. 
“The Buy Local initiative is crucially engineered to help local SMEs access retail space. I am confidently informed that there will be phase II of this initiative, which will entail a call out to all SMEs that are looking into accessing retail space. The initiative will be a working workshop with retailers as well as the Namibia Standards Institution to help SMEs understand what it takes to have their products shelved in key retail stores. These initiatives could propel Namibians to advance their own economically sustainable future by promoting the use of local products and services,” Sinimbo stated.   She also encouraged both local producers and consumers to use social media and share an image of using Namibian products, saying: “If you are a local business and want to promote the goods you are selling, tag the campaign team by using the hashtags #BuyLocal #GrowLocal. Fellow Namibians, now is the time to really Go Local when buying products and services. To grow local, small businesses can grow their business, create local jobs and help their communities. More than ever, we need to step in showing our support by buying from local, independently owned businesses”.  Sinimbo concluded that the ultimate goal of the Buy Local promotion is to create a thriving campaign by maximising the potential of local businesses and increasing their market share, thereby creating an environment for Namibia to become a self-sustaining economy.  - ebrandt@nepc.com.na

Edgar Brandt
2020-11-02 07:20:29 | 1 months ago

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