NKURENKURU - The Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya, said the time has come for Namibia to embrace and welcome investors with open arms and create the necessary conducive environment that will inspire investors to settle in the country.
“We need to remove all sorts of bottlenecks that suffocate investment opportunities for Namibia and in particular Kavango West,” said Tweya.
He was speaking at a one-day Kavango West investment conference on Thursday in Nkurenkuru.
He said he was aware of some incidents in which potential investors were given the cold shoulder. “It is one thing to talk about investment, saying we want investors to come to Kavango West or to Namibia, but it is another thing when the investors are here in Kavango West or elsewhere in Namibia and they are treated with hostility at the point of arrival at our airports [by our] immigration officials.”
“If we can just change our mindsets and to treat investors with respect and courtesy will go a long way towards solving Namibia’s industrialisation problem,” he continued. Tweya also pleaded with the regional leadership to accelerate and open up agricultural land being administered by traditional authorities.
“Industrialisation is a concept that is based on a ‘give-and-take’ principle. We sit on plenty of land, not only in Kavango West, but in other regions as well. Everybody talks about investment and wants investors to come to their regions, but we are reluctant to offer land for industrialisation,” he noted.
“The time is very short to foster industrialisation; in fact, this is an understatement. We are twenty-nine years post-independence; it is now more important than ever that we rapidly invest in the development of our agro-industry. We must learn from experiences elsewhere – Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Korea and others – where agriculture has been the foundation for driving fast-paced economic growth by building a strong food and agro-industrial manufacturing base quickly,” he said.
He also noted that for those that want to be part of building a strong, prosperous and bright future in Namibia, the ministry is eager to be their development partner in their cause of industrialisation, trade and enterprise development.
“I am looking forward to the breakthrough ideas emanating from this strategic investment conference given the knowledge, talent and experience marking the backgrounds of the people of this great region,” he said.
The office of the governor of Kavango West in collaboration with the Kavango West regional council and the Nkurenkuru town council hosted the region’s first investment conference.
The conference brought together high-level policymakers, agencies and funding institutions to discuss ways to accelerate the economic development of the region through investments.
The event provided a platform to showcase development and investment opportunities in a region with vast potential and enormous natural resources.
Potential investors had the opportunity to hear what the region has to offer in the different sectors of the economy.