WINDHOEK – It is almost impossible to quantify the value of the four-day Okakarara Trade Fair (OTF) since it is not only aimed at strengthening established economic activities in the Otjozondjupa Region, but to enhance existing business opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
It also intends to assist businesses in providing better marketing opportunities for their services and products. This is the view of the Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia (PON) Dr. Tjama Tjivikua. Tjivikua was speaking at the Gala Dinner organised jointly by the Okakarara Trade Fair Society and the Pamue Group of Companies on Thursday night.
About N$230 000 was donated and pledged by various organisations towards the holding of the annual Okakarara Trade Fair, which this year takes place during September 4-8. The fair marks its sixth year of existence this year.
Among the companies which pledged money this year are Meatco, Mobile Telecommunications Corporation (MTC), Epupa Technology Investment, One Call Solutions, the Social Security Commission (SSC), the Polytechnic of Namibia and the Ovaherero Genocide Committee (OGC), which made a token donation of N$1 000.
Tjivikua says a key aspect of industrialised, knowledge-based societies is a strong linkage between government, academia, local communities industry. Thus an expo like the OTF brings all these players together under one roof. However, he pointed out that sadly in Namibia these linkages “are yet to be well established”. He said the benefits of such linkages are manifold and of critical importance in the developed economy towards which Namibia aspires. He said the Polytechnic understands the value of participating in such an event like the OTF and other trade fairs and that is why the Polytechnic will be at the fair.
“Although not business in the strictest sense of the word, the Polytechnic offers products and services to a wide range of the Namibian public and as such an expo such as the OTF provides the institution with an opportunity to engage and interact with local communities.” He added that the fair also creates the opportunity for business and the community of Okakarara to harness the wide range of knowledge, skills and competencies, technologies and networks available in academia and society.
Speaking at the same occasion, Okakarara town councilor, John Viakondo, said the usually dusty town of Okakarara is now busy positioning itself as “Namibia’s first sustainable city of the future”.
He said this entails a 20-year spatial plan outlining modern sustainable urbanisation which will spearhead the “first ever ecological village in Namibia and sub-Saharan Africa.” The council would further focus its energy on supporting investors wishing to venture into export-standard beef processing, a tannery plant, a medium sized dairy farm, poultry farming, as well as a 1-2 mega watt biogas and an electricity generation plant.
The Council further invites investment proposals in heavy and light industries, property development, and the development of a modern Central Business District (CBD); a state of the art horseracing track; a camping site and cultural village, as well as a small agricultural commonage.