By Ester Paulus TSUMEB Oshikoto is the only region in the northern central areas that encompasses mountains and plains. Surrounding beautiful Oshikoto are the Kunene, Oshana, Ohangwena and Okavango regions. Oshikoto is made up of ten constituencies: Tsumeb, Omuthiyagwiipundi, Onyaanya, Onayena, Okankolo, Omuntele, Eengodi, Oniipa, Olukonda and Guinas with each constituency administered by an elected regional councillor. The region is zoned into three areas, namely, the southern part, the north-eastern part and the north-western area. The southern part consists of the magisterial district of Tsumeb. Tsumeb is surrounded by a number of commercial farms which create a market for fruits, vegetables and other commercial food from such farms. The infrastructure of Tsumeb Municipality is well developed and the town is often referred to as the gateway to the north because of its strategic location on the national road to Angola and the railway line from Tsumeb to Windhoek and Walvis Bay, and its extension to Ondangwa and Oshikango. It also offers lucrative investment opportunities and tourist attractions in and around the town. The closure of the Tsumeb Corporation Limited (TCL) copper mine in 1998 was catastrophic for the economy of the country but proved to be a blessing in disguise for Tsumeb. The re-opening of the mine under Ongopolo Mining Processing Limited in 2000 strengthened the drive to launch a strategic development plan for Tsumeb. The re-opening of the mine has since increased the number of inhabitants to 18 000 with the influx of job-seekers attracted by the ongoing developments. Economically, the region has a diversity of resources ranging from tourism, agriculture, mining and natural resources like underground water. Besides the underground water, plans are under way to develop a woodland area in Eengodi and Okankolo constituencies. A saltpan to be established in Omuntele constituency is also under way. Oshikoto is blessed with numerous tourism facilities, which draw thousands of tourists into the region. Namibia’s largest and most renowned tourist attraction, the Etosha National Park, is partly situated in the region of Oshikoto, which makes the town a tourist thoroughfare. The region has realized the potential of such valuable resources and plans have been devised to develop additional tourist attractions to lure more tourists to the region itself. Existing tourism attractions are Otjikoto Lake, Guinas Lake, Etosha National Park, the Nakambale Museum as well as several hunting and game farms that are located in the region. The opening of the Andoni gate at Etosha National Park has added great value to this sector. In terms of agriculture, both livestock and crop farming form the economic base of the majority of the people in the region. A number of different breeds of cattle for the production of quality beef are found on farms in the area. Cattle that are ready for market are usually sold to Meatco or auctioned off to the highest bidder. The Tsumeb-Ondangwa main road is regarded as a development potential for the region, serving the community and linking Oshikoto with other regions. Another significant development is the Tsumeb-Ondangwa and Oshikango railway extension. The region is connected with the rest of the country by Tsumeb airport, Mokuti Lodge and the Oshivelo airfield which can be used by those who prefer to use aircraft travel.
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