The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charity Mwiya has reacted angrily to a revolt by some prominent members in the northern regions resigned en masse from the chamber and formed a new organization.
Mwiya states that it is unfortunate that a small group of “misguided individuals with self-serving agendas are hellbent on tarnishing NCCI’s solid reputation”.
She adds it is equally concerning that at such a crucial time when working together is so important, that “we now must defend ourselves against others who would rather see the nation’s business community divided. ”
This comes as it has been reported in the media that NCCI has lost members after a new organization Namibia Local Business Association (Naloba) was launched in January with about 2 000 members.
Thus, she states, that it is proper that NCCI addresses some of the” false and misplaced allegations and destructive agendas advanced by some individuals and factions with seemingly hidden agendas, through the media. ”
She says that the business community is facing unprecedented difficulties and the prevailing economic conditions have brought a lot of desperation, loss of hope and she has observed a few groupings and individuals becoming opportunistic even to the extent of accusing NCCI of not doing anything.
“Among those that are genuinely experiencing difficulties, there are also misguided individuals who are taking advantage of the suffering and desperation of the business community. While these are indeed difficult times that we are all facing, we must however not allow these to come and divide us, take away hope and our aspirations. It is not always so much that we always publish what we are doing as a Chamber both with Government and stakeholders for our businesses and our communities. But NCCI has been doing a lot,” she adds.
For over 30 years now, she maintains NCCI has been committed to advocating for a fair, conducive, and competitive business environment across Namibia. ”We have built strong relationships and strategic partnerships with corporations, associations, NGOs, local, regional, and national governments.”
This is why, she said, the chamber has a diverse membership representing businesses from every sector and every corner of the country.
Mwiya further affirmed that NCCI can facilitate effective and open dialogues between all these stakeholders because of a history of collaboration, trust, and understanding.
“At the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) we envision a Namibia that collaborates, works together, empowers, elevates, and values the opinions of all our people, irrespective of our demographics such as race. And for that matter, gender, political affiliation, socio-economic status, educational levels, or religion. ”
Mwiya further notes that the NCCI board of directors comprises people of integrity with commendable track records in business leadership.
“They are a dynamic and diverse group of business and community champions who upon election to serve the NCCI in November 2021, have made it their mission to ensure proper institutional governance is first and foremost adhered to, in all structures of Namibia’s premier business sector representative body. NCCI’s Directors advocate that such behavior is the norm in the country’s private sector.”
In turn this has resulted in holding NCCI local branches accountable which results, she shares, have been astounding with the Ongwediva branch being a beacon of hope.
“The unresponsive branches will be nurtured until they are again strong and active in the delivery of wealth and job creation service at a local economy level. This is being done by re-engagement through programming, visits, intensified communication, and policy discussions.”
The NCCI board, supported by leaders at other levels within the organization, she said, has crafted a strategic roadmap to chart the Chamber’s direction over the coming five years and thereby refocus attention on addressing obstacles in the way of economic growth.
Advocacy committees were established, Mwiya said, to unify voices on policy, legislation, and other business issues. These committees are served by business leaders and entrepreneurs. irrespective of their NCCI membership category, to demonstrate the chamber’s core values of inclusivity.