By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Officially launching the multi-million-dollar Free Press Printers in the capital yesterday, President Hifikepunye Pohamba called for more home-grown businesses in the country’s economy. The Head of State encouraged local entrepreneurs to nurture home-grown companies, “as it is the key to the country’s economic success and industrialisation”. “Namibian entrepreneurs should take the bull by the horns and capitalize on the favourable business climate that prevails in our country,” elaborated President Pohamba, adding that home-grown companies of all sizes are the key in solving the growing challenges of unemployment and poverty. It is against this background that the Head of State commended the investors who established Free Press Printers for coming up with the idea of setting up a new over-N$30-million printing facility that is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. This facility will cater for the printing of newspapers, books, advertising leaflets and pamphlets, amongst other items. Through this initiative 22 new employment opportunities were also created and personnel will be trained by engineers from the United Kingdom who are well versed in the new printing processes. Free Press Printers is a joint venture between Trustco Group International and The Namibian newspaper. President Pohamba expressed pride in seeing such a joint partnership between Namibian-owned businesses in setting up such a company as, he said, it would go a long way in pushing forward the country’s economic struggle in alleviating poverty and creating wealth. “I therefore take pride in witnessing innovative business ideas, like this printing press becoming a reality – they transform into viable ventures that can contribute towards poverty alleviation in our country,” said the Head of State. Meanwhile, as from today Namibians will have the opportunity to buy shares in Trustco Group Holdings. This comes after the group became the first Namibian owned company established after independence to be accepted for listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) in the current cycle. This is said to be the first retail listing since April 2003 on the NSX that allows ordinary citizens to buy shares, thereby allowing them to share wealth and economic empowerment. “We must ensure that more Namibians become active participants and beneficiaries of the mainstream economy,” commended President Pohamba. Thirty percent of the shares have been made available to the public and the offer of buying these shares runs until September 27 this year. The launching of the Free Press Printers also coincided with the 21st anniversary of The Namibian newspaper’s existence. Speaking at the same occasion, Editor of The Namibian Gwen Lister stressed the need for a free, independent and pluralistic media in the development of democracy and as a contribution to the economy. “The independent press must also, where it has the capacity to do so, put its money where its mouth is, so to speak,” said Lister. She noted that the print industry is a massive business and previously millions of dollars would flow out of the country because of the limited facilities in this highly specialised field. It is without doubt, she said, that the inauguration of the Free Press Printers situated in the Lafrenz industrial area in Windhoek has now changed the face of the print industry into a whole new dimension.
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