WALVIS BAY - Namibia needs to do more to effectively harness its natural resources to the next level, while entrepreneurs should also capitalise by using all opportunities presented by the ocean.
This was said by Erongo governor Neville Andre during the launch of the Namport Maritime Week at Walvis Bay.
The launch coincided with World Maritime Day that was celebrated around the world yesterday, and observed under the theme “New Technologies for Greener Shipping”.
The day celebrates the significant impact of the maritime industry on the world and global trade, the importance of safety to the shipping industry, and the significance of marine security and the environment.
The launch presented learners from Walvis Bay schools a chance to explore first-hand some career opportunities as well as the economic benefits of the maritime sector.
Andre, who encouraged learners to consider taking an interest in maritime opportunities, said the awareness week should not only serve as an educational activity, but also as a precursor to further endeavours of unlocking economic activities in the region post-Covid-19.
“As we may all remember, our region has borne the harshest brunt of the pandemic, having been declared an epicentre several times. Nonetheless, we find resoluteness in our uniqueness as a region and in the work of our good corporate citizens such as Namport and other stakeholders upon whom we count on to build back our regional economy better and stronger,” he noted.
According to Andre, the coastline and only deep-sea port of Walvis Bay gives it an advantage against other regions to champion development, and make a salient contribution towards the country’s economy.
Also speaking at the same occasion, Namport CEO Andrew Kanime said Namibia has been gifted with the Atlantic Ocean that presents boundless opportunities which are beneficial to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
“The movement of various essential goods and commodities are critical requirements for the effective functioning of our country, as the benefits we generate from our sea and marine resources are immense and nearly immeasurable. However, are we deriving enough benefits from these great resources?” Kanime asked.
The CEO expressed the hope that the commemoration of the day will bring immense importance to the industry in the country, the skills shortage and the need for all role-players to come together to develop the skills needed to maximise and sustain the marine resources.