LÜDERITZ - The Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development has, through facilitating high-level meetings, been instrumental in fulfilling the government’s ambition and vision to make Namibian ports the main getaway to regional and international markets.
Officiating at the event where manganese was shipped through Lüderitz, Lucia Iipumbu, the Deputy Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development said the ministry is cognisannt of the initiatives driven by the relevant stakeholders (Namport, TradePort Namibia, TransNamib, Walvis Bay Corridor Group and Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining) with the celebratory event as final output.
“This economic opportunity ties very well with our regional industrialisation agenda and the development of regional and bilateral industrial value chains amongst the member states as concerted efforts towards regional economic integration,” she emphasised.
With reference to the beef sector exports, the deputy mister described the absence of adequate cold storage facilities as a key constraint on completing the industrialisation circle of it.
“Our beef continues to be exported through South African ports and to this end my ministry has finalised a concept note for a Walvis Bay cold storage facility, which by extension could also cater for Botswana beef exports to the European Union,” Iipumbu noted.
She expressed her sincere hope that the two countries can collaborate on such a venture.
She furthermore stressed the need that government through the ministry and all key offices/ministries/agencies overseeing sectors should continue to optimise their efforts in seeking potential business partners. In addition, they should foster joint ventures to realise the creation of integrated value chains such as the manganese export one. “Thus, our strategy should be based on embedding bidirectional transit economy pathways.”
Jan Scholtz, chairperson of the //Kharas Regional Council expressed his gratitude to the Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa, and //Kharas Regional Governor Lucia Basson for their participation in commissioning this economic milestone.
He said that manganese shipment will provide employment opportunities to residents of Lüderitz and the region at large.
He expressed the hope that this investment by TradePort Namibia will motivate other businesses to utilise the port of Luderitz and the adjacent railway infrastructure.
The Namibian Growth @Home strategy under the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development is advocating sustainable economic growth whilst the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Sadc Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap place great emphasis on Namibia’s economic competitiveness and regional economic integration.
Utilisation of Namibian corridor routes diverts more than 1 million manganese cargo from the Northern Cape Province in South Africa via the port of Lüderitz. The total investment is pencilled in at close to N$1 billion with concomitant backward and forward linkages to the Namibian economy.