By Berio Mbala WINDHOEK Local entrepreneurs received a welcome boost in improving their marketing skills in garment manufacturing after a recent workshop held in Windhoek. The Namibia Garment Marketing Company, in its quest to add value to the garment industry, conducted a workshop to train locals on making basic patterns. The workshop lasted two days and was conducted by Quality Assurance Manager, Onias Fredy from Zimbabwe. Manager of Marketing and Administration, Liesl Boois, said: “The Namibia Garment Marketing Company (NGMC) is a joint venture together with the local garment manufacturing company which started its operations in June 2006.” She said the main aim of the company is to market the products of member companies locally, regionally and internationally. Lack of market access and the recent closure of some local companies competing in the local market segments are but a few of the reasons that led to the formation of the company, she said. “Hence, the vision of the company is to build a strong joint marketing platform for local garment manufactures to make it possible for them to access domestic, regional and international markets through trade regimes such as the SACU Agreement, the SADC Trade Protocol and AGOA,” she said. NGMC is currently engaged in consultations with potential buyers in the United States and hopes to develop a niche market for local manufacturers. Quality Assurance Manager, Onias Fredy from Zimbabwe, who conducted the two-day workshop said he was appointed by NGMC to train them on how the basic pattern of garments is drawn, cut and developed into a final product. He believes that every person must plan, and for that reason people must know the stages to follow when working on a garment. In the textile industry, a person must plan first, make patterns, develop sizes and cut the sizes before sending them to the sewing machine for the final product, he said. One of the trainees who attended the workshop, Naimhwaka Hildegardt, a teacher by profession from Cosmos High School and majoring in needlework fashion and fabric, said the training was useful and successful for her expectation because she learned a lot of new things. “The first day of our workshop, we discussed a topic on drafting patterns, how to measure, cut, knit and design a final product,” she said. Producing large numbers of products makes business grow, and this reduces unemployement, she said. Boois also said NGMC is committed to the realization of its mission such as strategically assisting local manufacturing companies to reach their full growth potential by promoting and developing the domestic, regional and other international markets, to become successful companies. She urged the government, parastatals and private companies to provide tenders to the company so that it can produce local products that Namibians would be proud of.