Tuulikki Abraham Lüderitz-The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Sylvia Makgone, says the Lüderitz Town Council should take a cue from its strategic direction and vision statement spelling out its goals to become the commercial and industrial growth point in //Kharas Region by 2020. Makgone said the town council should remember that in 2020 they would have to report on the Sustainable Development Goal 11, that is to make the town inclusive, safe, resilient and economically vibrant and sustainable. “Many a time when one speaks to business people in Lüderitz, you would often hear them mentioning how tough it is to do business in Lüderitz. Well, as true as that may be, through a collective effort from the government and private sector today Lüderitz is busy transforming into a business destination like any other,” Makgone recently said when she delivered her keynote address at the official launch of the 11th annual Lüderitz Crayfish Festival at the town. She noted the natural beauty of the coastal town attracts tourists as do other coastal towns. The construction of the Lüderitz Waterfront and a number of world-class hotels, and other tourism products offered locally, cater well for visitors whether on business or leisure, she added. Makhone applauded the town council for a job well done in sustaining the celebration of the annual Lüderitz Crayfish Festival. She said it is important to note that the “leadership of this great town” together with relevant stakeholders took a decision more than 11 years ago to launch the Lüderitz Crayfish Festival under the following objectives: to position Lüderitz as a major tourist destination, to forge partnership with friends of Lüderitz, to promote and foster regional unity, to support the Lüderitz economy, in particular the tourism industry and SME sector, among others. Makgone said it is clear that those objectives cannot be attained in isolation but can be realistically “collectively attained”. She pledged that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources will continue its support to this colourful annual event and implored all stakeholders to play their part so that together they grow Lüderitz. Makgone said the fisheries ministry is proud to have been a participating government institution in the development of the fishing industry, the mariculture sector, albeit still in its infancy, as well as the development of the maritime museum. Once fully established and operational the maritime museum will serve as both an educational and entertainment unit specifically designed to tell the history of fishing, fish processing and sea navigation as it unfolded over the years along the coast. Makgone stressed that it seems that fishing in general but crayfish fishing in particular has been and would continue to be the backbone of the economic development of the town. Also, there is no doubt that fisheries resources keep fluctuating from one year to another, therefore it should be accepted as the nature of the fishing business that some years would realise lower landings and therefore lower profits than other years, she added. “It is necessary for fishing companies to constantly think out of the box and gear themselves towards creative and innovative business practices to stay ahead of the competition in these turbulent business waters. One of the simplest answers to surviving in this sector is value addition,” she suggested. “The Government of the Republic of Namibia promotes and encourages value addition as a business value proposition. Value added products come in very handy at times when raw product volumes are low,” stated Makgone. She said the government contributes to increased income in the form of state revenue and most importantly employment creation. Makgone said as climate change impacts the environment including the marine environment, fish stocks around the world’s oceans would find it very difficult to provide fish as food to the ever-increasing world population. She advised nations to look at aquaculture as an alternative to providing much needed food to the world’s population. In her welcoming remarks Lüderitz Mayor Hilaria Mukapuli welcomed Makgone to the official launch of the crayfish festival that will be held under the theme ‘Our Ocean Our Treasure.” Mukapuli congratulated the deputy minister and wished her all the strength, wisdom and health in her new role and personal life. Mukapuli indicated that the deputy minister has joined a very crucial ministry which has been, and still is, a huge contributor and stakeholder towards the continuation of the annual crayfish festival. Mukapuli said all those present could attest to the fact that the wealth of Lüderitz is a consequent of its beautiful ocean, which is the source of abundant marine resources, including fish and diamonds. Mukapuli expressed her gratitude to the main sponsor of 2017, Seaflower Group of Companies, and Standard Bank. She similarly acknowledged all other sponsors, SMEs and individuals who made pledges in 2017. During the official launch N$562,000 was pledged overall, with Seaflower pledging N$150,000, MTC pledging N$125,000, Standard Bank committing N$100,000, FNB committing N$80,000, NovaNam undertaking N$40,000, while other companies and individuals pledged amounts ranging from N$1,000 to N$10,000. Patron of the Lüderitz Crayfish Festival Tim Ekandjo applauded the town council for its remarkable achievement in successfully organising the event for 11 years.
2018-02-28 09:41:25 6 months ago