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Ondangwa trade fair reopens after Covid trauma 

2023-05-05  Correspondent

Ondangwa trade fair reopens after Covid trauma 

Max Henrich

ONGWEDIVA – The Ondangwa Trade and Industrial Exhibition (OTIE) finally returned with a bang, and business is back better than ever. The trade fair was closed for the past three years due to Covid-19. The official opening of the event on Tuesday marked a decade of continuous business support and innovation in Ondangwa. The OTIE has shown positive growth over the years, with over 200 local exhibitors at the fair this year. 

The Ondangwa Town Council promises to continue striving to bring about platforms and opportunities for its business community and corporates in the pursuit of excellent quality service delivery.

According to Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Lucia Iipumbu, the exhibition attracts numerous local and international exhibitors, representing a diverse range of economic sectors. These include MSMEs and the informal sector that significantly contribute to GDP, while creating much-needed employment, particularly for women and the youth. 

“The government supports trade exhibitions as a means to supplement its programmes and empower communities, but a lot more needs to be done to develop the trade exhibition shows into vibrant opportunities for new business development and centres of learning and development for both SMEs and established businesses. All participants must, therefore, ensure to network and learn key aspects to improving their products and diversifying their businesses,’’ said Iipumbu during the opening.

The minister urged all stakeholders to support initiatives, such as OTIE, to allow exhibitors and entrepreneurs to scale their products and seek further market access provided under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

“I urge these exhibitors to work closely with the relevant government ministries, offices, agencies and private stakeholders to promote OTIE beyond the borders of this region, and to attract more regional and international exhibitors, particularly those who can tap into valuable opportunities and know how to enhance our economy,” said Iipumbu.

She also thanked the Ondangwa Town Council for championing the event and the council’s office for ensuring the event continues to grow and remains a springboard for the localised intervention towards intergraded small markets.

According to first-time exhibitor Jackson Amutenya, he was extremely excited the fair finally re-opened after the devastating impact of Covid-19, which, he said, was a severe economic recession for businesses. 

“We are now back, and we hope it is going to be bigger and better than the previous years,” he said.

2023-05-05  Correspondent

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