By William J. Mbangula
Business promoters in Ohangwena region have been urged to avoid individualism but rather be innovative, committed and remain united in order to ensure effective economic regional development.
This was said by an official from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) for Ohangwena region when he addressed the Youth Expo on Tuesday.
Peter Ndawedwa, an economist in the MTI, said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have the potential to contribute to the achievement of important social objectives such as job creation, poverty reduction and the promotion of equitable distribution of wealth.
Said Ndawedwa: “SMEs are faced with constraints hindering their development, thus despite their importance, the contribution made by such sections of the national economy with regard to growth, development and poverty alleviation is still considered to be minimal.”
The constraints faced by SMEs include lack of finance, market access, knowledge of appropriate technology, management and entrepreneurial skills, while insufficient institutional and advisory support are some of the key stumbling blocks to their eventual success.
With all the constraints facing the economic promoters, Ndawedwa noted, it would be unfair and unrealistic to ignore the challenges facing business promoters. He cautioned the exhibitors that being on the right track with regard to the exhibition of their products and exposure of their working relationship among themselves, does not guarantee success or victory since they can still be run over.
As a result, they are advised to remain well equipped with the latest development information in business circles since success is a process and not a destiny.
The expo, held under the theme: “Let us fight poverty, incurable diseases and lack of technical know-how”, was organised by the youths of Ohangwena region under the umbrella of the Namibia First Luxury Cooperation (NAMFLICA).
Established in 1997 by unemployed youth in the region to fight unemployment, the project targets youths of between 18 to 40 years who need assistance with selling their traditional products in order to earn an income. Such members are allowed to have shares in NAMFLICA as a registered close corporation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The shares allow them to enjoy benefits and privileges attached to the membership, such as credit guarantees, bonus payments and access to marketing of products.
NAMFLICA manager Amos Kalumelume told New Era that the organisation is growing from strength to strength following intervention by some powerful organisations such as the Commonwealth Youth Initiative (CYCI). They provided training in bookkeeping and business administration.
Expos are held at least six times in the region, mainly at Eenhana and Helao Nafidi towns.