Windhoek – The upcoming Namibia Annual Sport Expo, scheduled for September later this year, could serve as a perfect opportunity for the local sport fraternity to realign itself and embark on a route that would see Namibia claim a stake on the international sport arena, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila strongly believes.
Officially launching the country’s first-ever sport expo in the capital on Thursday, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said not only is the expo intended to grant athletes and sport administrators an opportunity to showcase their prowess, but it will also be a great platform for Namibia to exchange notes with sister countries as well as form lasting partnerships.
The annual sport expo, which will be a first for Namibia, will be the country’s biggest international show dedicated to the sports, fitness and health industries, and will also put special emphasis on the local manufacturing industry with the aim of showcasing and connecting them with potential investors that will be in attendants during the expo.
More importantly, the expo in its design aims to strategically bring together a diverse range of national and international sports organizations, sports goods and equipment manufacturers, technology and innovation providers along with sports retailers, dealers, distributors, sports marketing professionals, sports media experts as well as local and international sports federation, national associations and other internationally renowned sport leaders under one roof.
Additionally, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, on behalf of the Namibian government, also wants to use the exhibition to directly market Namibia as a world-class destination for tourists across the globe.
In a her speech on Thursday, the PM said the Namibian sport sector employs more than 15,000 people, therefore the idea of the sport expo comes at a perfect time and should be fully supported. “The expo seeks to bring together government leadership, sports administrators, corporates and athletes to look into opportunities and policies for the development and financial sustainability of sports in Namibia,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added that government is hard at work in improving the governance aspect of sports and various sports codes.
“It must be noted that without a proper governance structures, it will be difficult for codes to progress at the level we expect them to. As we all know, the sport sector has employed players, administrators, manufacturers of sport gear and various service providers within the local sports fraternity,” she said.
The PM stated that the sport sector is acknowledged globally to have greater economic potential and is being promoted to encourage social cohesion, create employment and alleviate poverty and reduce crime, but in Namibia, however, the sector continues to lag behind in many respects as its contribution to the country’s GDP is still well below its potential. –Adapted from Nampa