OTJIWARONGO - Industrialisation minister Lucia Iipumbu engaged the Otjozondjupa business community on Monday in Otjiwarongo. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the government’s support and intervention measures necessary to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 on businesses in the region, in order to revive its economy.
“Otjozondjupa region is one of Namibia’s agricultural hub due to good rains, it is also key in tourism and mining activities, therefore, there is a need to optimise resources in order to reap maximum profit. We need to work hard and support these sectors,” the minister said.
She informed the meeting that their presence was a sign of a collective desire to see a positive change to the challenges facing businesses and the country’s economy. “I am certain that this platform will allow pertinent key issues to be discussed thoroughly and good implementable recommendations to be advanced,” she said.
Iipumbu added her ministry has a list of initiatives to be implemented, aimed at identifying critical challenges facing business communities in the country, to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic. “This consultation is one of such activities. We hope to canvas ideas on how we can collectively support and innovate mechanisms to resuscitate the Namibian economy.”
She further explained that the disruptions to business operations during the pandemic was not to cause any harm, but it was necessary as the government had to balance between saving lives and maintaining business operations.
At the same juncture, Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua, who was also in attendance, called on relevant institutions to capitalise on the region’s comparative advantage by establishing fresh produce hubs and a meat abattoir in Otjozondjupa, saying the region has the capacity to thrive in those areas.
The audience which was composed of business people from around the region posted comments and questions ranging from wanting to know the ministry’s status with the rolling out of the school uniform projects around the country, challenges faced by SMEs with business land and concerns around the financing of SMEs, among others.