By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK Okakarara is scheduled to hold its first ever trade fair from November 01 to November 05, 2006, which will be officially known as the Okakarara Trade Fair. The aim of the event is to showcase local small and medium enterprises, with particular emphasis on makers of handcrafted goods. Organisers however point out that the fair is open to exhibitors from the whole of Namibia, as well as to foreign companies. CEO of First National Bank, Adv. Vekuii Rukoro, has agreed to act as patron of the Okakarara Trade Fair. The idea for holding the fair comes from the Okakarara Constituency Development Committee (CDC). The committee is tasked with promoting economic growth in the region and deciding what projects to undertake in support of SMEs It developed the idea of holding a trade fair after complaints from local traders that there was no market for their goods. Local handicrafts that will be on display are the work of local seamstresses, including Herero dresses, leather products such as leather jackets, saddles and also hand-carved wood products. Local fresh produce such as watermelons, pumpkins, carrots and tomatoes will also be on show. Constituency development committees form part of the government’s decentralised structures. They are composed of local heads of departments at government ministries, traditional leaders, heads of NGOs, representatives from the private sector, youth, women’s and church groups. Initiatives come from the settlement level to the constituency level before then being passed on to regional government level. Regional councillor and chairperson of the CDC, Veparuhe Kandorozu, said the aim of the trade fair was to give local traders exposure, thereby hopefully creating markets for them. The CDC at the same time wanted to market the whole Okakarara area and make it more business friendly. A technical committee charged with organising the trade fair is currently drafting a constitution for the trade fair society with a view to registering a Section 21 company. The technical committee hopes to draw on the experience acquired by organisers of the now well established Ongwediva and Ondangwa trade fairs. People who originate from Okakarara, but currently reside in northern Namibia were tasked with studying the Ongwediva and Ondangwa trade fairs and report back. On August 5, 2006 the technical committee will meet to review the proposed constitution and prepare for the launching of the Okakarara Trade Fair Society. It will also consider proposals for various fund-raising activities, including a dinner. The tentative venue for the trade fair is Okakarara Cultural Centre. Kandorozu said interest in the event was high even before the official application form for exhibitors has been advertised.
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