Okakarara looks at unlocking its potential

Martin Endjala

Businesses have been challenged to intensify their efforts to industrialise the country by increasing production with the goal to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba made this call during the official opening of the 14th edition of the Okakarara Trade Fair today. The fair is held under the theme “Unlocking business growth opportunities for Okakarara”.

The theme recognises Okakarara’s resolve to unlock its potential as a fast growing business centre, as one of the economic hubs of the Otjozondjupa region.

The full and active participation in the national, regional and global economy, the Vice-President said requires businesses to adopt innovative, smart and appropriate technologies in order to be successful in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this context Mbumba stated, government’s new approach and strategic thrust towards economic development embraces a Smart Economy in a rapidly changing world.

He pointed out that, initiatives such as the Okakarara Trade Fair and others across the country, offers opportunities to businesses, especially SMEs to showcase their products to a vast market and to network with bigger companies.

Mbumba advised that SMEs can only enter the economic mainstream if they shift gears and redouble their efforts to do more.

“Events such as this require the continued support of our communities, and all stakeholders because trade fairs are often the place that companies use as a testing ground for new products, processes, ideas and strategies,” Mbumba said.

About a 120 exhibitors both local and international are represented at the Okakarara Trade Fair. According to the government’s policy on “Growth at Home” which emphasizes industrialization, manufacturing and value addition, which aim to develop value chains are based on raw materials available in Namibia. The Otjozondjupa region is known for livestock production, however most of its livestock produced is exported on hoof without any value addition and without creating local employment.

In this regard, the Vice-President reiterated that it is imperative that the country commits to adding

value to its natural resources so that it can create jobs for the people, while at the same time promoting economic growth and development.

A trade fair of this magnitude cannot materialize without the support of promoters and sponsors who despite strained resources provided financial means to host the Okakarara Trade Fair, Mbumba emphasised.

He expressed appreciation to Standard Bank, Bank Windhoek, First National Bank, MTC, Agribank, Meatco, Meat Board of Namibia and Modern World. “Job well done.

Let us keep on collectively working towards Vision 2030,” Mbumba said.

By Observer