WALVIS BAY – Fishing industry players say new entrants to the market must invest and create more jobs in the sector.
Fisheries minister Albert Kawana on Tuesday announced that 213 new applicants were successful and will be joining 85 current rightsholders.
Chairman of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Association Matti Amukwa was pleased about the manner in which the selection process was done.
Amukwa told NewEra yesterday the fishing industry is one of the most established industries that has been contributing positively to the development of the country and Namibians in all 14 regions.
“Let us work together and avoid unnecessary internal squabbles that will disrupt and paint the industry in a bad light,” he said. Amukwa appealed to the new rightsholders to stick to their commitment in terms of social responsibility as put down in their applications, as sharing the natural resources is key in nation building.
“Not all applicants could be given rights to explore our natural resources that belong to all Namibians. Hence, those that received must be willing to share, especially where there is a need,” said Amukwa.
Kawana on Tuesday also said that he was pained that some applicants, including those who met the set criteria, did not make it, adding that it was never his intention to deny fellow Namibians bread on their table.
“The limitation of resources was a major constraint. The size of the cake is far too small compared to the number of applications,” he said.
The minister indicated that he would consult extensively in all corners of the country for the government to come up with a comprehensive review of the fisheries sector, with a view to benefit ordinary Namibians.
Unionist Paulus Hango, who has continuously advocated for the equal beneficiation of Namibia’s natural resources, yesterday described the latest rights allocation as fair and transparent.
“Yes, there will be people unhappy about the process but the minister cannot please everyone.
Those that received rights must just stick to their commitments and create jobs as well as share their wealth,” he said.
He also applauded the ministry and those that were doing the selection for a fair process that clearly shows regional representation.
“We must remember that the fishing sector is not only for Erongo or for residents of Walvis Bay. It is a national resource and each and every Namibian is entitled to benefit from it,” he said.