KEETMANSHOOP – Industrialisation deputy minister Verna Sinimbo says it is one thing to encourage Namibians to buy local products, but another if the country cannot produce sufficient produce to meet local demand.
Sinimbo made the observation when visiting the !Homs Ai Centre in Keetmanshoop as part of her recent familiarisation visit to the //Kharas region.
“We should capacitate local producers to realise the vision of an industrialised Namibia by 2030,” she said. She added that supporting local producers helps create job opportunities and further reduces Namibia’s dependency on imported goods from South Africa.
“We as Namibians should strive to stop importing school uniforms and shoes from South Africa within the next two years and rather supply retailers ourselves,” said the deputy minister.
In this vein, Sinimbo commended local clothing manufacturer Hektas Clothing, located at !Homs Ai Centre, for not only employing youth but also providing them with free training in the manufacture and design of clothing.
“These people can at the end of their training be in a better position to get employed or train others,” Sinimbo said, while encouraging Hektas to keep on with the good service they are providing to the community.
During her visit to the Keetmanshoop Gemstone Centre, the deputy minister expressed her happiness that the centre is now managed by one of its first trainees.
“I am also positive that this centre has the potential to expand and train more Namibians in jewellery-making in future,” she said.
She further assured staff members of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development at Keetmanshoop of her unwavering support.
Sinimbo told the staff that her role, since being appointed by President Hage Geingob, is that of supporting regional offices and managing and facilitating ongoing industrial and small and medium enterprise parks.
“I am indeed looking forward to working together with every one of you in taking the ministry to greater heights in executing its mandate for the benefit of our people and our country at large,” she informed the staff members.
Sinimbo visited ministerial projects in the //Kharas region and also took note of challenges faced by officials in executing their duties for purposes of providing them with the needed support.
She reminded the staff that the ministry’s mandate is to promote sustainable economic development and growth through the promotion of industrialisation to boost productive capacities and diversification of the economy.
The investment promotion and SME development function, according to the deputy minister, will be transferred to the Office of the President as a matter of priority to stimulate private sector-led economic growth and recovery.
“Let us continue working in unison for the greater and better delivery on our mandate,” she encouraged staff members in conclusion of her address.