Walvis Bay Municipality unveils ambitious economic vision

Niël Terblanché

John Esterhuizen, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Walvis Bay Municipality, presented an ambitious vision for the town’s forward-thinking economic development at the Stakeholder Engagement on the Local Economic Development Strategic (LED) Implementation Plan.

With a clear objective outlined in the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, the Walvis Bay Municipal Council aims to create a conducive business environment, incorporating an enhanced service delivery strategy to attract investors and foster economic and employment opportunities.

Acknowledging the town’s thriving industries in fishing, tourism, and logistics over the past three decades, Esterhuizen stressed the need for transformation to ensure Walvis Bay’s continued global relevance.

“Our long-term vision for Walvis Bay is ambitious—to be listed among the Global Competitive Cities for Jobs and Growth by 2033. Currently, only Cape Town represents the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in this category. Achieving this status demands a collective effort from the Council and all of you as our valued stakeholders and development partners,” Esterhuizen told stakeholders at the gathering.

He stressed that becoming a globally competitive city would require high-quality physical and institutional infrastructure, economic growth driven by agglomeration effects, cultural vibrancy, and environmental competitiveness.

Esterhuizen’s address highlighted the importance of a synchronized approach to planning and continuous environmental assessment to address crucial questions regarding the town’s performance, potential, and effective interventions for economic development.

“The stakeholder meeting signifies our initial step in addressing these pivotal questions, marking the commencement of the crafting of the Local Economic Development (LED) Strategic Implementation Plan. This plan, once realized, will propel us toward achieving the LED’s primary objective, namely enhancing the town’s competitiveness on the global stage” he explained,

Esterhuizen invited stakeholders to actively participate in transforming these aspirations into tangible realities, particularly in the energy sector, including Green Hydrogen, oil, and gas.

He stressed the need for robust infrastructure and regulatory frameworks to attract significant business and investments in the energy sector while also nurturing complementary sectors and sustaining existing industries.

He thanked all the stakeholders attending the event for their presence and commitment to shaping the vibrant future of Walvis Bay.

Let us embark on this journey together, driven by a shared vision of a thriving and globally competitive city,” he urged.

The Stakeholder Engagement event serves as a platform for collaborative planning and strategizing, uniting the Municipality, stakeholders, and development partners in their pursuit of Walvis Bay’s economic development and global competitiveness.

Since its inception, the focused objective has paved the way for the formulation of the Walvis Bay Local Economic Development Strategy for 2023-2028.

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