AUSSENKEHR – Vice President Nangolo Mbumba believes the ultimate aim of the acquisition of the Namibia Grape Company (NGC) by the National Youth Service (NYS) is that of ensuring institutional self-sufficiency and sustainable empowerment of the Namibian youth.
“The previous decision by government to acquire full ownership and custodianship of the NGC was with the intention to transfer it to the National Youth Service, a fact we are happy to be witnessing today,” Mbumba said Friday at Aussenkehr during an official handover.
He furthermore described the mandate of the National Youth Service, as a youth development service institution as that of providing personal development programmes and employment opportunities for the youth.
The VP continued that the process of transferring the ownership of the NGC to the youth body took longer than anticipated, albeit having been necessary to ensure that the correct legal processes were followed to successfully complete the transfer in September 2021.
“Grape farming in the Aussenkehr grape valley is unique, in the sense that grapes are ready for the market in time for the festive season in Europe, thus taking advantage of the premium prices paid by importers,” said the politician.
He added that this has enabled not only the Namibia Grape Company but all grape companies in the valley to earn millions in foreign exchange and thereby contributing to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Mbumba applauded the respective youth and agriculture ministers, boards of National Youth Service, the NGC and all involved for a mission accomplished.
//Kharas regional governor Aletha Frederick said it is noteworthy and commendable to see that youth empowerment remains the priority of the Government of the Republic of Namibia through youth and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) targeted programmes in various ministries and agencies.
“Namibia is set to benefit from the potentially high demographic dividend that comes with a young population, for which the window of opportunities was opened with the independence of this country,” she continued.
Frederick said programmes like this will directly and deliberately integrate youth into the mainstream of the Namibian economy to create sustainable livelihoods for young people that would increase their income, asset, and skills opportunities.
“It will furthermore increase the numbers of young people that manage, own, and control productive enterprises, including the corporate enterprises, such as Namibia Grape Company, which is handed over today to the National Youth Service,” she said.
The regional governor added that Namibian table grapes from the Orange River valley are described by the industry as world-class. “Not only are local grapevines rated high in major export markets in Europe, but the grape industry is said to be very lucrative for the Namibian economy; and to this fact, the grapes grown along the banks of the Orange River have been described as diamonds that grow on trees,” said Frederick.
When officially receiving the shares certificate, making the NYS new owners of the Namibia Grape Company, board chairperson, Emmerenthia Leonard expressed the youth entity’s profound gratitude and appreciation towards government for entrusting them with this new, empowering ownership of NGC.
The NGC was registered in 1998 by a group of previously disadvantaged Namibians. It secured funding from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) to acquire 778.4 hectares of land at farm No.147 Aussenkehr. Over the years, the company established itself as one of the leading grape companies in Namibia. It was shortly taken over by the GIPF. Thereafter, the government bought all the shares of GIPF in September 2007.