By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI The Ondangwa Town Council in conjunction with local business people will stage its first ever trade fair towards the end of next month. This was announced by the Manager of Corporate Services and Economic Development for Ondangwa, Ismael Namu-gongo. “The year 2006 marks another milestone in the history of Ondangwa Town Council and the local business community in which the two sectors have come together and formed a joint venture in managing and organising the first ever trade fair in Ondangwa,” Namu-gongo said. He added that the town council and the local business community have realized that for the town to grow and for the betterment of the livelihood of all the residents, the two institutions should work together and take developmental issues into their own hands to be the masters of their own destiny. Through their joint venture more successes can be achieved rather than working in isolation. “It is against this background that the business community and the town council have come together and initiated what will be known as the Ondangwa Trade Fair Close Corporation (cc) with its stated short and long term aims and objectives.” Namugongo outlined the long-term objectives as the construction of a permanent structure in Ondangwa that will serve and host all future trade fairs as well as hosting various conferences by different potential users. Short-term objectives are to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs and farmers in order to trade and create contacts with each other, to create and encourage the linkage between small and upcoming local entrepreneurs and to bridge the gap between businesses, producers and consumers. In Namugongo’s view, such aims and objectives can only be achieved by hosting annual trade fairs and through fund-raising and contributions from members of the community and other goodwill supporters. “Like other local authorities in Oshana Region, Ondangwa does not have any meaningful resources as is the case with some towns in the country. Most of our people depend on small-scale trading and subsistence farming and it is only through the hosting of this type of events that the local economic development of the town can be enhanced.” If the trade fair centre is constructed and the event is held there, Namugongo believes that it will create a good trading environment opportunity to interact and exchange experiences with one another and the facilitation of the much needed linkages between SMEs and the mainstream business community.
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