By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK Ongwediva town is drawing lots of attention as a result of the annual trade fair. Over the years, the town has attracted investments in the form of new companies and also accommodation facilities, which the town’s Chief Executive Officer, Damian Egumbo, says is the direct result of the trade fair. The marketing drive of the trade fair, said he, has managed to open up businesses for both cross-border trade and also joint ventures between businesses in the north and the south of the country. “Due to the strategic location of the fair premises, we have attracted a number of businesses. We have seen new guest houses being built, accommodation facilities are being expanded and other business have also come in,” he told New Era in Ongwediva recently. Although he could not give more information, Egumbo said the town was expecting major developments next year. Generally, according to economics, Namibia has seen a decline in economic activities, but according to Egumbo, Ongwediva has experienced an increase because of new businesses that opened at the town. Although these new developments have created some employment opportunities for the inhabitants of the town, Egumbo said the council is not satisfied that the unemployment problem is fully addressed. “As a council, we depend on the residents and the ideal situation is to have at least one person working in a household to pay for our services. As long as the income levels remain low, council would be forced to keep our services low,” he added. The council is now looking into the second phase of the development of the town, which starts next year. This phase entails three components that will include economic development of the town in all sectors, attraction of investments and improving public health. Egumbo said the town could not talk of development without looking at the development of the communities living in the town. He said the Sam Nujoma Multipurpose Centre, which is the social arm of the council, will spearhead the community development, which will among others include after-school programmes for orphans and vulnerable children, youth development programmes, HIV/AIDS outreach programmes and computer training. The second components of attracting investment will include creation of a supportive environment for businesses, development of existing businesses for them to engage in programmes that assist them in growth from one phase to the other, and also to attract investment in the services sector such as architects, consulting engineers and others that are not operating from the town.
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