William J. Mbangula Oshakati The Offshore Development Company (ODC) will construct industrial parks at Okalongo, Oshakati and Oshi-kuku in addition to the just completed N$25-million park at Ongwediva. ODC Senior Administrator for Assets Simon Pokolo told New Era that the industrial parks drive is part of his company’s efforts to boost the manufacturing sector, which would add value to products. The construction of an industrial park in Oshakati would come as a relief to crop farmers at Etunda Irrigation Scheme because it would address one of the long-standing problems that the farmers face. The park will primarily deal with food storage, with subsequent facilities for grading agricultural products. Most farmers at Etunda have been complaining about their products not being bought by local retail shops and wholesalers because they are not graded. As a result, they have been transporting their products from the Omusati region to South Africa for grading, after which they are returned to Namibia to be sold at a much higher price. At Oshikuku, ODC intends to build a park which will mainly focus on the manufacturing of plastic facilities. Okalongo park will mainly be an SME promotional initiative. “We are also aiming at industrialising the previously disadvantaged regions by creating the most essential facilities for economic development in different towns and settlements.” Ongwediva, Pokolo noted, has all along been considered a residential settlement without any industrial facilities of its own. Since Ongwediva is now a fast growing town with a lot of potential in terms of socio-economic development, Pokolo said, ODC had chosen to construct an industrial park worth close to N$25 million. Ongwediva Town Council’s Public Relations Officer Andreas Uutoni described the park as the biggest single infrastructure so far in the town, which has added value to Ongwediva as a town. “This industrial park has attracted many potential investors to our town and we are very much thankful for their efforts. It has also created job opportunities for our people. We consider them as reliable partners (ODC) in the development of our town. I therefore call upon other potential investors to follow suit since we have sufficient land for the purpose of socio-economic development in Ongwediva.” The park has a capacity to accommodate 40 trading units with enough land for further expansion if need be. It is presently fully occupied, with a long waiting list of potential traders. Currently, various SMEs, medium and large entrepreneurs are trading in different areas of specialisation such as grocery (Shoprite), banking (Bank Windhoek), hair salons, Multi-Choice, health and beauty products, architecture, toilet making project, tailoring, brewing ginger beer, and car sales (Dairenkia Motors). The Ministry of Trade and Industry’s regional head office is also based here, having relocated from Ondangwa recently. This is in line with the official directive of locating government offices in and around the regional capitals. Pokolo noted that ODC is disappointed with the tendency by some entrepreneurs not to be creative and innovative enough to ensure diversification of the economy for the purpose of adding value to manufactured products. “We want to promote the manufacturing industry at all cost but many people are only going for easy business by duplicating other people’s work. All what you see people doing is opening salons, selling food and many other easy businesses. It is for this reason that when we allocate units in these parks, we want to ensure diversification in business activities.” The Ongwediva industrial park which was constructed by the Grootfontein-based Dumpco Company provided 300 jobs during the construction phase. It will be officially inaugurated by President Hifikepunye Pohamba on August 4.
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